Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Week 5 - The Living Well in Retirement Weekly Challenge

The Week 5 Challenge

Wow! January is almost gone - leaving just 11 months left of 2014! Sometimes I think perhaps I shouldn't have packed away the Christmas Tree!

Time certainly does seem to fly as we get older and it's made me determined to make sure I plan for the things I want to do, learn and achieve. In my retirement I intend to learn and experience life is ways previously not possible when I was working. I am coming to quickly appreciate however that days, weeks and months and perhaps even years can slip past in the blink of an eye.

How, then, can we make sure we make best use of the time available to us? One part of that jigsaw puzzle is by knowing what we want to achieve, do or learn - and by when.  Key to meeting these goals - both large and small, short or long term - is planning.

Your challenge this week - because it's 2014 - is to list the 14 things you want to achieve this year that will see you live well. Think about what you will need to consider in order to achieve these, then get out your diary, calendar or year planner and mark them in! There's your 2014 plan done!

Enjoy your year! Live well!



PS: I'd love to hear what you will be working on this year! Leave a comment - do let me know!

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Week 4 - The Living Well in Retirement Weekly Challenge

The Week 4 Challenge

Words are very powerful things! They reach out conveying layers of meaning to users, readers and listeners. Words can lift us up, open our eyes, make us cry, cut us to the core ...

Words can also be centering - supporting us to focus on things personally important. Two years ago I stumbled across a poem somewhere on the internet titled 'I can ...'. It inspired me to write this personal version. I subsequently shared the poem with my staff as part of the 2012 Staff Induction at the beginning of the school year.

My Word for 2012 is CAN

CAN make a difference in the lives of my students, my friends
and my family.

CAN make things happen when others feel it is impossible.

CAN block out the negative.

CAN embrace the positive.

CAN make changes.

CAN inspire others.

CAN learn from others.

CAN push boundaries.

CAN do anything I set my mind to.

CAN make a difference in my life.

CAN ….

What’s your word?

The power of that small word 'can' is made extremely obvious when you re-read this poem, as we did, substituting 'can't' for 'can'. Try it!

Throughout the year the power of these two small words had a significant impact on us all and helped us shape and reshape our thinking. Whenever we found ourselves thinking 'I can't' we re-thought what problems or issues would look like if we used instead the positive 'I can' headset. We found that just by using 'can' we could - and did - achieve amazing things!

In 2013 - the first year of my retirement - I used the word 'restore' as my one word. I focused on restoring my energy levels, my health, my wellbeing ... restoring me! And I think I'm pretty much restored as a result!

Choosing one word for 2014 has been a challenge - there are so many to choose from! The one word, however, that I have finally settled on for this year is 'thrive'. I intend to focus on growing and developing as a person, learning new skills, tackling new challenges, continuing to improve my health and wellbeing, contributing wherever and whenever I can, striving to be successful that all that I do in this retired life - and living life well!

Your challenge this week - choose your one word for 2014. Write it down! Commit to it! It could change your life!

I would love to hear what you have chosen as your one word! Do let me know!



Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Week 3 - The Living Well in Retirement Weekly Challenge

The Week 3 Challenge

Following last week's challenge I trust you went to your GP - right! And s/he reminded you that you need to lose a kilo or two - or maybe twenty two! This week our focus is on weight loss - because those extra kilos are dragging us down - just when we want to spreading our wings and having fun in our retirement!

The impact of overweight and obesity is well documented - but when we are busy with work and life pressures, eating poorly, supersizing portions, adding liquid calories in the form of soft drink and alcohol and exercising little - the weight gain sneaks insidiously up on us - and then smacks us in the face with a whole raft of nasty health issues.

Did you know that dinner plate size has a direct impact on how much we eat? Using a smaller dinner plate than you currently use will make it super easy to downsize portion sizes - reducing your calorie intake and starting you on your weight loss journey.

I've illustrated the difference in plate sizes below. The larger plate is the current 'supersize me' plate that is now considered 'normal' in crockery sets. The smaller plate is the size used prior to the trend for larger plates - and is the size we used growing up. You will find these plates in your Mum's prized collection of crockery!

So, your challenge this week is to beg, borrow or purchase a small dinner plate - maximum size 23cms/9 inches in diameter. Simply use this plate for all your meals - and watch the effect on your waistline. 
. Read more about the effect of dinner plate size on how much you eat here - it matters!

Want more information on portion downsizing? Let me know in the comments section and I'll provide you with several more informative links.



Monday, 13 January 2014

In My Retirement ... in January

In my retirement ... in January

A Milestone Birthday

In my retirement ... in January I'm excited to be celebrating my 60th Birthday! What a milestone! Daughter Sophie made a berry meringue 'cake' shaped as the letters 6 and 0 - she knows meringue is my favourite! Thanks, Sophie!!! We are planning a bigger family function next weekend when it will be possible to assemble people together from far flung places! I'm looking forward to it!

Taking a Break

In my retirement ... in January we stayed for a few days in the lovely town of Clare in the heart of the famous Clare Valley wine growing region. We had to taste a wine or two, and had a superb meal at The Rising Sun Hotel in the pretty township of Auburn!

Family Connections

In my retirement ... in January we visited Burra and drove past the home built in 1855 by my great-great-grandfather Heinrich Christian Wilhelm Fuss. Migrating from Clausthal Zellerfield in the Hartz Mountains, Germany he was the Charge Yard Supervisor of the Burra Smelter from 1847 until the 1860's. I'd love to have a peek inside!

A Fabulous Find!

In my retirement ... in January while in Burra we stopped for excellent coffee and fabulous scones at the delightful Gaslight Collectables and Old Books store. Browsing the shelves, to my amazement and delight, I found an old copy of my most favourite book from my primary school days at Yeelanna Primary School - 'The Swiss Family Robinson' by M Wiss. I read that book time and time again and have looked for a copy, complete with the coloured plate pictures, for years! I will enjoy re-reading it and sharing it with my grandsons!

Watching My Garden Grow

In my retirement ... in January the garden is flourishing! I am amazed at what one raised garden bed can produce!  I really do enjoy watching it grow and have been recording it here!

Sand, Sea and Sunshine!

In my retirement ... in January we are having fun at the beach with Grandsons 1 and 2! Adelaide is blessed with beautiful beaches and we intend to make good use of them this summer!

An End and a New Beginning

In my retirement ... in January my last offical day as an employee of DECD will be January 22. From January 23 - I will be retired and the challenge of living well in retirement will really begin!!! I can't wait!

Thanks for visiting - feel free to leave me a comment!



PS: I welcome you to join me in this series - showcasing your retirement and giving us a peek into your world. All you need to do is to leave your  blog name, URL, and a comment in my comments box. If your post meets In My Retirement requirements I will add your name and blog link to my sidebar. You will need to link your post to this post.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Living Well in Retirement - 14 things I'm looking forward to in 2014

Having spent 2013 transitioning to retirement I'm excited about 2014!

Here are 14 things I'm looking forward to in 2014!

1. Celebrating turning 60!

Turning 60 is certainly a milestone! I am fortunate that I can look back with pride on my life's achievements, and look forward with anticipation and excitement on the next chapters of my life.

2. Watching my Grandsons Grow

Being a grandparent is one of life's blessings! We love spending time with our three grandsons, and I can think of no sweeter sound than hearing little voices call out 'Hello, Granny! Love you!' 

3. Supporting our Children

John and I are extremely proud of our son and daughter, and their spouses - the work ethic of each of these four is outstanding. I look forward this year to supporting and encouraging them in their various business ventures and watching these develop.

4. Spending Time with John

Away from the pressures of work the opportunity to spend time together with the person you love the most is one that John and I don't take for granted. Sadly it is denied many, and not always valued by others. 

5. Exploring the Great Unknown

The world is a big and amazing place.  This year we intend to travel overseas. The USA will be one destination on our itinerary - we are currently working on what we want to see - and how long we can afford to stay!

6. Beach House Renovations

We love our beach house at Coffin Bay - and in our retirement can spend more time there. We intend to make some modifications to make it even more comfortable - not only for us - but also for our rental customers. We will convert it from 2 two bedroom units to one house with four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a large living area. Can't wait!

7. Decluttering Will Continue

After the great start I made to getting rid of clutter and things I'd hoarded - just in case - I'm going to do it again!  I have not missed nor needed one single thing that I discarded - and now I realise that there is plenty more that I can discard. And it felt so good to let all that stuff go!

8. Providing Support to Developing Leaders

I will continue to be available to coach and mentor developing leaders and young teachers. Our school systems need the very best teachers and leaders - and they must be grown and nurtured. Sharing my years of experience and professional learning is my way of giving back to the system I was proud to be a part of for so long.

9. Blogging

I have so enjoyed discovering what blogging has to offer, becoming a part of blogger communities and making new friends over the past nine months that I have been involved. I now have three blogs - what was I thinking!!! I blog here on 'The Living Well in Retirement Challenge' about living well in retirement because I was so frustrated at the negativity surrounding retirement that I was encountering - particularly online. I blog about cooking, sharing my favourite recipes on 'Apricot Tart', and started a garden blog 'Watching My Garden Grow' as a way of keeping a record of what was happening in the garden - and recording how it was growing. It just seemed easier than keeping a notebook!

10.  Become a Better Writer

As a part of my blogging journey I wish to improve my writing. I love reading posts from bloggers who can descibe something so well you can taste it, hear it, smell it, feel it! To write like this not as easy as it seems - but I'm going to try!

11. Become a Better Photographer

Confession! Until I got an iphone I'd never taken a photo in my life - but now I'm hooked! John gave me a Canon EOS 650D last year and I've finally booked into a Canon Academy course to begin the journey to becoming a better photographer.

12. Painting

I've always wanted to paint! I think it's because Art was not one of the subjects we could study if we were doing the 'O' course at Cummins Area School all those years ago. Those 'A' course kids seemed to get all the fun subjects to do - while we were stuck with double maths, physics, chemistry etc. Now's my chance!

13. Simplifying

It has been so pleasant and rewarding to live a simpler lifestyle over this past year that I intend never to complicate it again!

14. Living Life Well

In 2014 I intend to live life well - looking after my health, fitness and well being, appreciating the new freedom I have, the choices I can make and making the most of opportunities presented to me. 

Life in retirement is meant to be lived well! 



Monday, 6 January 2014

Week 2 - The Living Well in Retirement Weekly Challenge

The Week 2 Challenge

Many of us have not paid sufficent attention to our health over the years. In retirement it is time to address this issue - because now you have the time.

It's time to reacquaint yourself with your local GP! Make an appointment and organise a full health review.

It's time to check and address issues with aspects of health including

  • blood pressure
  • cholesterol
  • obesity and overweight
  • diabetes
  • bone density
  • smoking
  • bowel cancer screening.
And, you're not finished just yet! Girls, it's time to organise a mammogram and smear test. Boys, it's your time to organise a prostrate examination. These tests are easily put off - so get over yourself! Don't be a wimp! These tests could save your life - that one you want to live well in retirement!

From personal experience I can tell you that you will feel quite virtuous afterwards!

Your challenge this week - pick up your phone and make the appointment right now!