In my retirement transition, I’ve discovered a love of trying new things. At first I expected that trying something new would allow me to find my “passion” – the one thing that I wanted to do above all else. I tried a number of things that just didn’t work out at all. And nothing has turned into THE big passion area. But I have discovered a number of things I’ve enjoyed and continued. And I continue to try new things and have discovered that I enjoy that activity itself! Last year, my goal was 52 new things for the year. I hit 75. This year, my goal is 101 Fun and/or New Things. I added the “fun” element in because some of the new things from previous years are turning into do-it-again or habitual fun things. Not big passions, but fun stuff, like blogging, yoga, shuffleboard, and Zumba.
In keeping with the A to Z New Things that I talked about in a previous post (link here), here’s an A to Z of Favorite New Things I’ve Done Since Retiring. Do keep in mind that this covers 5 years of retirement (Happy 5-year Retirement Anniversary to me!), but maybe it will inspire you to try something new yourself!
A = African Safari. Our trip of a lifetime that hit a number of true bucket list items including standing on the equator, seeing the Big Five animals in the wild, visiting another continent (two to go), a hot air balloon ride, two new countries visited, (#25 and #26) and glamping (glamour camping).
B = Blogging. Joining the blogging community has been a delight. I’ve “met” people all over the world. I’ve used my blog as my life coach. The outlet for my writing has kept a spark of creativity going. I’m approaching my 3-year anniversary of the blog, continue to wonder about the name I chose (since I do feel I’m done transitioning), but continue to stick with it because of theses benefits!
C = Cooking Classes. No, I am not a gourmet cook – not even close. But I’ve tried various cooking classes, including a week-long boot camp at a culinary institute. I will never be a great cook (not the passion!), but I certainly have fun taking classes and have another class booked this summer already.
D = Downsized our Home. This involved a lot of de-cluttering (yes, I tried the Kondo method) and some design work as the much smaller rooms required new approaches to furnishings. I certainly had fun shopping for some new furniture!
E = Exploring. I’ve explored lots of things from doing some out-there bucket list items (professional photo-shoot, zip-line), to exploring spirituality (meditation, tarot cards, new moon rituals), to exploring creative outlets (pottery class, glass blowing). I’m enjoying tracking exploring new things with this year’s 101 New &/or Fun Things goal, which mid-year is at 79.
F = Foodie Fun. This covers food events, my mid-week foodie club, compatible couple dinners, food delivery services, weird foods, food tours, food reviews, and new restaurants. I am officially a foodie!
G = Gratitude. Regularly practicing gratitude has been a significant element of my conscious decision to be more positive. While I have not begun a specific gratitude journal, I use gratitude as part of my morning journaling. I continue to work on the “accept, appreciate, act with kindness” non-judgment and live with gratitude life approach that I wrote about in this blog post (link).
H = Home Improvements. Hmm, maybe not that much fun, but this is an essential element of life and something that took time and money. With the downsized house came some up-sized home improvement work – inside and out. Most we contracted, but we built the patio ourselves (yeah, YouTube), painted the inside rooms, and worked on creating a backyard garden space.
I = Innovation Consultation. When I first retired, I continued working because that is what I knew how to do. Work came easy; learning how to live took time to figure out. I’ve not recently taken on any more project work or done any active networking for gigs, but also have not discounted doing something if it comes along and is of interest. Ambivalent now, but the part time work definitely helped me emotionally in the transition.
J= Journaling. Following the advice of Julia Cameron (The Artist Way), I began morning journaling and am now devoted to it. It’s my diary, my tracker, my inner voice, my blog inspiration, and I cannot image life without that outlet.
K = Kite Fest. And going to other festivals as well – Arts & Craft Fests, Raptor Fest (yeah, real live raptors), Food Festivals. Hubby and I like the smaller festivals and seem to always find something to buy at the local art festivals.
L = Leading Ladies. A philanthropic group associated with the Cincinnati Playhouse In the Park. And I also joined Impact 100, another woman’s philanthropic group. Both were out-of-comfort zone join ups. I was hoping for connections (not successful in that) but have stayed engaged because I believe in their goals.
M = Mini-adventures. From museums to food tours to underground tours to canoe dinners to soccer games to axe throwing to shuffleboard nights – I’ve become the regular designated planner of events for us and our friends. Some of this is spectator and some is active; some involves the arts and some involves food. Sounds like the story of my life!
N = Networking. Focusing on intentional connections was an activity I started right upon retirement. I had a quarterly list of 8-10 people to call to set up a coffee date, lunch date, meet-up for happy hour. Again, this was helpful in the early days of retirement to help with having folks to bounce ideas off, get suggestions from, or just have a conversation. I still keep a connections list and look at it regularly to see who I might not have talked to/spent time with (IRL, on phone, or virtually) in a while.
O = Out of Comfort Zone. I’ve tried only a few big things here. Getting a Motorcycle License tops the list. Learning to swim is another. But some other smaller things were pushing at my comfort zone as well – from joining philanthropic organizations & book clubs to starting a blog to taking big trips (Africa, Iceland).
P = Publishing my Book. Writing the book was very organic as I lived the process I wrote about. But editing it and then getting the courage to publish were both a big deal. Here’s a link about my publishing approach. I continue to be quite excited that people are buying it & seem to like it! If you have not checked it out yet, please do – here’s the Amazon link.
Q = Quiet Time. Learning how to just be, versus always doing, has been one of my big self-development elements. I am (was?) a Type A, it’s-about-the-destination workaholic. I live in a society that values busy-ness and having a job. I was expected to start a second career of some sort. So being more contemplative, exploring things like yoga and spirituality, and feeling okay with not having a second career has been a huge shift for me.
R = Redington Shores, Florida. We are now spending regular time at our beach cottage and even completed our first official snowbird experience (see link post). I love our cottage and the sun-filled days that encourage outdoor activity from biking to shelling to yoga on the beach.
S = Seasonal Bucket Lists. My quarterly action plans (my doing, workaholic tendencies still exist) have evolved into seasonal bucket lists (link). While they speak to the planner in me, they also help me appreciate each season. And I link up with other bloggers for new ideas on how to appreciate the season, plus a bit of accountability on my goals.
T = Theater. My go-to-date-night is dinner at a new restaurant and a live theater production. In Cincinnati, we subscribe to 2 theaters for a total of 16 shows. Plus we fill in other shows of interest – at other theaters in Cincinnati or in Florida.
U = Unique Things. A few of the more unique things I’ve tried since retiring were becoming an antique dealer (part of the downsizing activity), attending a psychic festival with follow-up intuitive sessions, and becoming a life coach. All were (unsuccessful) attempts at trying to find my passion!
V = Visiting Family. Retirement has given us the flexibility to visit with my family in other states. Plus we have had some visitors (extended “family”) with us in our cottage in Florida.
W = Walk & Talks. One of my favorite activities has become my Walk & Talks with girlfriends. Whether it’s a regular Monday 4-mile hike at the park, a loop-the-zoo three times at Zoo Blooms, or a random Sunday beach walk, I love these times – linking activity and conversational connection!
X = X-word Puzzles. A stretch for the X, but I’ve become addicted to the daily crossword puzzles. I tell myself it’s about brain stimulation. And then there’s also Scrabble against the computer, which can turn into a time suck if I’m not careful.
Y = Yoga. One of the new things I tried using the “month of activity” tool from my book (month of yoga link) that has become a habit. I appreciate the physical aspects (flexibility, strength & balance) as well as the emotional balancing through breath work. And yoga on the beach in Florida is simply amazing.
Z = Zumba. Another of the new things I tried that has become a habit. I’ve gone from being a no-exercise person, to attempting to hit (often successfully!) the 5 activities a week on my FitBit tracker. My newest activity is strength training and I am hoping to get it to be a habit, too.
Looking back on the new things I’ve done in my retirement transition supports my retirement lifestyle vision of being active, connected, creative and contemplative.
Do you like trying new things as well? Does my list give you some new ideas to try?
Picture Credit: Pixabay. A fireworks celebration for my 5-year anniversary.