September 30, 2012

Retirement - Five Years Later

polar bear, waiting for the first snowfall of the season
east of Churchill, Manitoba, Canada

Tomorrow is my five-year retirement anniversary! It is hard to believe that much time has past already. In many ways, it seems like just yesterday. But it also seems so long ago. Do I regret retiring? Heck no! I wish I could have retired sooner! I am very grateful that we scrimped, saved, and invested for many decades so that we could both retire when we were still young enough to enjoy hobbies and travel.

So what exactly have I been doing for the past five years? Let’s just say that I have managed to keep busy! Here’s a short summary, not in historical order.
  • Maintained our country cottage on six acres.
  • Sold our country cottage on six acres. (Yeah!)
  • Built a smaller country cottage in a villa subdivision. (Another yeah!)
  • Lived in a rental home while we built our new cottage.
  • Moved our household twice. (Ugh.)
  • Sold and donated a significant amount of household furniture and belongings.
  • Slipped and fell on a concrete floor, resulting in the final demise of my bad left knee. (Ouch.)
  • Underwent knee replacement and manipulation later on to break scar tissue. (Not nearly as good as the original equipment.)
  • Endured four months of knee rehabilitation and therapy. (Ouch, again.)
  • Performed engineering contract work with my former employer three different times (~50% of time since official retirement).
  • Managed the household while Mr. Jim recuperated from hip replacement surgery.
  • Started doing digital photography, first with a Nikon D70 and then upgrading later to a Nikon D90.
  • Taught myself Photoshop Elements and then Photoshop CS4, CS5, and CS6. (Whew!)
  • Enjoyed my studio room, puttering around with sewing and craft projects. 
  • Successfully stopped an interstate from being built in our beloved valley.
  • Frequently traveled, ever mindful of our “bucket list.” (Hooray!)
  • Started this blog three months after retirement and maintained it faithfully ever since! (Another hooray!) 
And exactly where have we traveled? Gosh, it was rather overwhelming when I wrote out a list this afternoon:
  • Tennessee, extensively (including Smoky Mountain National Park) 
  • Kentucky, extensively (including the Bourbon Trail) 
  • North Carolina (Seagrove) 
  • Virginia, extensively (including Colonial Williamsburg in the spring and at Christmas)
  • Ohio (Cincinnati) 
  • Indiana (to visit family and see covered bridges) 
  • Arizona, Utah, and Colorado (canyonlands, mountains, and National Parks and Monuments) 
  • New Mexico (Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos, and National Parks and Monuments) 
  • British Columbia, Canada (Vancouver and Tweedsmuir Provincial Park) 
  • Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, Canada 
  • Manitoba, Canada (Churchill and Winnipeg) 
  • Alaska, twice (interior, coastal, and Inside Passage)
  • Montana (Glacier National Park and Kalispell) 
No wonder I have been a bit tired lately! The past five years has been action-packed! Thankfully, it’s been filled with more "ups" than "downs." And, like a polar bear looking forward to the first snowfall of the season, I am looking forward to many more years of happy retirement!


  1. Wait a minute...are you sure that you're really retired? It's wonderful that folks can still live the dream.☺

  2. I'm working on it...right now I'm down to working four days a week and I feel like I've been freed from some kind of corporate bondage. Can't wait to be as free as you, but I'll take it in increments if that's the only way I can get it! Congrats to you on a successful five years!

  3. you are living the dream - even with a few aches and surgeries along the way! good for you!

  4. I'm SO envious! Since we have a family business, and the economy is getting worse, I guess we will be working till the cows come home...
    Enjoy your freedom Girl!!

  5. You sure have packed a lot into the last five years.

  6. I'm impressed you remembered everything. Hopefully it will be wonderful for the next long while. No more surgeries and pan, only fun.

  7. I hear you, Donna. After 11 or 12 years of retirement myself, I find that I was never so busy in my whole previous life! It's pretty amazing what we find to fill that big "void", LOL. Congrats on your 5-year anniversary. I can't believe it's been so long already. :)

  8. Oh my goodness...not sure retirement is the right word LOL

    You definitely have been busy Ms. Donna and I know you and hubby are enjoying yourselves immensely!

    I'm so happy for you and congrats on blogging for 5 years ♥

  9. Better to wear out than rust out!

  10. You're sure not sitting in a rocking chair during retirement, my friend! Loved reading all about your 'doing' over the past five years. My sweetheart retires TOMORROW - wonder what our list will look like in five years!

  11. Wow, you have been BUSY!!! I can't believe you've traveled to all those places in only 5 years. That's amazing.

    I wish you guys continued health and good fortune so you can travel the rest of the country (maybe world?) and provide us with details and photos of each trip so that those of us who aren't retired (yet) can feel as if we've been there too!


Marty, here! Donna loves comments, and I faithfully pass them on to her. Thank you so much for visiting!