Damn… already my dance card is getting too full. I barely finished writing about finding balance in retirement and realize that every day is scheduled, albeit some dances will last longer and take more energy than others.
Double damn!! This was more than a senior moment or a brain fart!! I feel like some of my brain cells died when I retired and I still have some thirty years of living to do. To my chagrin, I thought I had until the end of December to complete my Continuing Professional Education credits (CPE) in order to maintain my CPA license for another three years and I do; however the online subscription for the self-study courses expires at the end of July. If I don’t want to pay “buku bucks”, I need to take the self-study courses in the next six weeks. I don’t foresee work in my future, but just in case I might need to consult, maintaining my CPA license is an important goal. Don’t ask what made me think about it recently. Now you could say hallelujah… the brain has its synapses firing, I remembered before the subscription expired or what the hell just happened, how could I forget such an important deadline? Why did I keep thinking I had until the end of December versus the end of July?
What else? The day after I retired I started walking as part of “getting fit” and was up to two miles each morning when my knee decided to rebel. Now I have physical therapy three times a week. So all of a sudden I have unexpected time commitments on top of my volunteering which I began in May.
This is a conundrum. The physical therapy is a must as I am already feeling the effects of not walking in my sense of well-being and accomplishment. I was walking each morning as the sun rose. Some days I would get lost in the music, but most days I would spend playing with ideas bouncing around in my head or thinking about a blog or book I had just read. Without this daily jumpstart, I find myself floundering a bit… as if I’d lost what little creativity mojo I had.
On top of which I don’t want to schedule an international trip until I know if the knee will improve. The knee won’t stop me if it remains at status quo, but I’ll need to adjust my expectations such as in climbing the Great Wall in China. I was truly amazed by some of my fellow travelers on my last trip. I lauded the 89-year-old man from Australia who has diabetes and a pace maker and climbed about 150 steps to the Holy Monastery of Varlaam at Meteora in Greece and the 84-year-old woman from Canada who had knee replacement surgery and climbed and traipsed the Pergamon Acropolis in Turkey. They inspired me, not only in my quest for healthier living, but in the thoughts that the future is limitless and what you make of it.
And CPE is equally important in future earning power if needed. As baby boomers retire, I expect that the cost of travel will increase (supply and demand). And travel, both international and domestic is a major part of my retirement plans for at least the next fifteen years. And who knows what the economy will be… another meltdown and recession similar to 2008? Not unlikely. What a hit to my nest egg that would be!! While I can’t live in fear that I’ll end up impoverished, my plan is to keep my earning potential intact for the immediate future.
That leaves volunteering. Since it currently gives me the most fulfillment, I won’t give it up. It is one of my passions. I spent the first couple of months looking at different volunteer opportunities and decided that I wanted to provide service to our country by supporting our military. I started small with a commitment to send care packages to our deployed servicemen by signing up with “Herobox.org”. This is probably more a commitment of money as than time since buying the snacks and personal items and paying for shipping is an ongoing expense. I also started personal letter writing which I send to “Operation Gratitude.org”. Although both of these activities are terrific, I felt I wanted more personal connections and signed up with our local Veterans home and the USO. Twelve or so hours per week is only 10% of my waking hours so not a huge commitment of time.
So where does that leave me in my search for finding balance? I’m taking the stance that it’s only temporary. The physical therapy is hopefully only for four to six weeks and the courses need to be completed by the end of July so I see my dance card being full until mid summer. Then I’ll reassess.