Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Blue Lady Contemplates What the Next Couple of Years Year Will Hold

Jul is over, and soon New Year's will old hat. I performed taiko again at the Salt Palace on New Years Eve, and on New Years Day I joined some friends for knitting. I'm already tired of the whole Christmas thing....sooooo glad it is over for another year.

Next Jul season I will have been retired for half a year. I can't say right now where I will be. Now that I have had this experience of a Jul retreat, I may just plan that in my lovely South Dakota home. It might be a real nice way to spend the time. But we'll see, we'll see. That's a year from now.

I have one more semester of school work to do. It will be a real nice semester for me, because the whole thing will be working individually with students at three different levels on their final individual projects needed to earn their degrees. I like that kind of work and think I do it pretty well too. But I won't mind giving it up.

People are asking me in so many words now, "What are your plans for retirement?" I give a variety of answers, but they center upon eventually perhaps moving away from SLC to another city for part of the year, learning new things and modest traveling. I'm going to begin the learning and the traveling in 2016.

SLC and the UofU particularly, have super excellent programs for adult / lifelong learning education. Because I think it probable that I will end up sooner or later moving away from SLC, I decided to really take advantage of what the U has to offer while I am still working. From different programs at the U this spring, while I am still working, I'm already enrolled in continuing ukulele lessons, beginning watercolor painting and Brazilian drumming and dancing. I tried add Tai Chi too which I like so much better than yoga, but the schedule did not work out.

In general I want to learn arts, music and physical activities that are within my grasp. I have a list that I am on the lookout for. I won't consider ballet, but I'd like to try tap dancing and/or step dancing. I'd like to feel comfortable with partner dancing... maybe even try tango in the end. I'd like to see about African drumming. My friend is studying Susuki piano for adults ... something to consider using a keyboard. I'd like to learn how to play wooden flutes of various kinds ...Japanese and Native American for example.

I want to learn a bit about drawing with charcoal, pencils and colored pencils. Polymer clay looks interesting. Perhaps pottery or jewlery, but those are low on the list.

I'd like to see if I like fly fishing by trying the tankoro method. I might have a go at snowshoeing. I wonder if I could do badminton or curling? And I would like to join a bird watching group and actually learn something about that too.

Then there is travel in the region. I decided to knock that trip to Moab of the list finally and go there over spring break this year. I am thinking about taking advantage of the ACNM annual meeting being in Albuquerque this May and do a road trip that includes a few national parks and monuments along the way. Once I go to SD, maybe I'll take that overnight trip up to ND to see the Rooseveldt Badlands. Back to IL in the fall sometime. And maybe finally do a trip up into Idaho too .. or maybe let that wait until 2017.

I've decided for sure to keep my apartment here in SLC until August 2017. I need to do some volunteering at Red Butte in 2017 in order to earn my 10 year pin from there. It's a little thing, but there is just no way I'm going to quit Red Butte after 9 years. That would be silly.

If I stayed through til Jan 2018, I'll get the 10 year pin from Sundance too. I will earn that one way or another. I can always come back just for Sundance and stay at a hotel. A bit pricey maybe, but do-able. That IS what I plan to do after I get the 10 year pin.

I may need to stay through until 2018 because there is a lot of travel from a SLC  base to fit in. It makes sense to use SLC as a home base to explore Arizona, Idaho and Nevada for example. I'm not sure I can fit that all in in 2016-17. One advantage I will have is the ability to go when it's good for me to take off. I don't have to wait for some kind of school break. And I can do overnight trips during the week and not on holidays too. Plus I have great care for Smokey Rose here in SLC. I really need to take full advantage of all of that.

We had a really nice reception last week for a former colleague who retired a couple of years ago (not sure which year, but it wasn't last year). She had been retired for about a year and then she got some kind of brain cancer. My friend in Maine says she reads the obits daily and always finds someone of our generation that she knows who died recently. There simply is no telling about these things any more.

Carpe Diem as they say!

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