Monday, August 1, 2016

I Really AM Retired Now

Photo by my friend Marian K.
One thing I have learned about retirement is that I no longer have much of a schedule that matters. Most things can be done tomorrow, or another tomorrow, or when I get around to it. Like writing a new blog post. It's been on the list of things to do one day soon, But, as you can see, soon did not come around real quickly.

The other thing I have found is that retirement is looking to be good for my health. One thing that tended to keep me from doing things like exercising and eating well while I was working, was time.  Time that I either did not have at all or that I did not want to spend on doing things like exercising or eating well.

Smokey Rose settles right in soon after we arrive.
She prefers to spend her mornings in the bedroom

I have decamped to South Dakota as usual for the summer. So far things feel a lot like any summer except that I have nothing arriving in my university mail box that I need to pay much attention to. It will feel different when August comes and goes and I am still here.

But I now have time for a couple of things that have changed how I spend my time and that I think will all be good for me.I'm exercising regularly, and I'm eating well.
The little rec center in Deadwood. Everyone welcome.

I signed up for a membership at out little local community rec center. Now I go 3 mornings a week to the water exercise class. I love it.
Our lovely modern pool

We're mostly older ladies (an older gentleman came one day once.) They are all locals who have been doing this class for years.They all know just what to do and are very generous about teaching me what to do. We always do the same thing in the same order, but that's ok. It works. I may try the yoga class, and I also have been walking around the indoor track. No matter how you cut it, I'm doing real exercise.

Then because I knew I was coming into a house with next to no food in it (a bit of canned soup for emergencies, but that's about it) I decided to re-start how I cook and eat. I signed up for one of those food and recipe delivery services. (I picked Blue Apron because a friend in SLC uses it and gave me a starter coupon, but I don't really want to be an ad for this particular service. I'm sure others are equally good.) I started getting boxes 2 days after I arrived.

I love it. First the food is good, the recipes are varied and have ingredients that I probably would not try on my own. They are easy to cook and each one gives me two meals, aka 6 suppers per week.
A southern style chicken dinner, all ingredients included.

I only have to provide breakfast & lunch for myself. Sometimes the side dishes are too generous and end up as leftover for lunches. But mostly my lunches are simple .... soup, fruit and snack-y kind of things like little carrots dipped in humus. Breakfasts are equally simple.

So all I buy in the grocery store are fruit, things to drink, milk, eggs, cheese, and good snacks like nuts or hummus. I do buy soup too rather than making it just because it's easier, but maybe come winter I'll make soup.

Two big things that I am NOT buying are veggies and condiments. This means I am not throwing food away anymore. I was constantly throwing away veggies that I had good intentions about in the grocery store, but that somehow never made it onto my plate. Salad was a huge problem.
Veggie drawer without veggies. Just Tuesday's supper.

So here's the deal...I just don't eat salad at home any more. I also don't have an onion or garlic for whenever I did decide to actually cook something. Now if I know I do want to cook, I will have to go to the store and buy my onion that day. So be it.

I also have very few condiments. I have some jam, maple syrup, vinegar, mustard, catsup, olives &pickles (lunch food), soy sauce (may throw it out...I don't seem to be cooking anything that needs it), and cooking fats (olive oil, ghee, avocado oil, coconut oil). If I should want salad dressing, I can make it. I can make mayonnaise if wanted. I will probably get rid of the catsup when I leave because it won't be good by next time I get here.

I love having so much space on my frig door. I love not feeling guilty about spending money on something, and then only using a bit of it for some recipe and 2 years later throwing it away mostly unused. It's liberating! My intention is to keep this up.
Plenty of room in the frig door for wine, beer, kombucha

And there has been a side effect. I have no sweets in the house and I don't seem to miss them. I'm just not eating or even wanting sweet treats and snacks. This just happened without any effort on my part. Now I am sure that if you put some birthday cake in front of me, I'd eat it. But I'm quite capable of just passing things up without thinking in stores and restaurants. All good.

Oh by the way, I'm also sleeping well and having time for mediation and kitty snuggling. My blood pressure is just fine.

The other thing I am doing is working real hard to get all my bills and things like that on auto pay and paperless.I still have a few things here to take care of, but gradually, gradually I think the finances will all be in order. I want to have very little  paper mail to have to follow me around as I move from place to place. I intend to be a modern older person!

I'm not yet traveling much, and there aren't really opportunities for classes and activities like drumming here in my country home, but those things will come in due time. I'll go back to all the usual volunteer stuff in SLC for the winter and spring.And I need to plan out the trips. Hotels are the things I really need to plan for.

So there you go. I'm living the dream!

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