October 17, 2021 · 8:22 am
Just a few years ago, I experienced an important first in my life: the first time I enjoyed a moment of serenity, relaxing in a comfortable hammock.
This happened pre-Covid-19 closures, of course, while visiting a friend’s cottage.
The minute I laid eyes on it, I felt a little rush of adrenaline accompanied by a sense of wonder deep inside. I had never been in a hammock before and in fact, “relaxing in a hammock” was on my bucket list.
I confess, my bucket list isn’t filled with thrill-seeking sports or activities to draw out extreme emotions. After a busy career that drew out my extrovert energy on a daily basis, my dream activities are much more subtle and quietly introspective in nature. Peace and calm, as I experience now in my home in the country, is very much in line with these dreams.
Whenever I noticed a hammock making a cameo appearance on a TV show or in a movie, it always seemed to be in an ideal setting, on a perfect day, when the character was enjoying a quiet, easy-going moment. Deep down, I longed for more times like that.
I asked the hostess if I could give her beautiful hammock a try, to which she graciously confirmed that I could.
It was one of those rope-style ones that looked like a fishing net. I knew I had to be ever so cautious in getting into it as I knew my coordination (or lack thereof) sometimes translated into an accident waiting to happen. If I didn’t do this carefully, I could easily end up going through, around or under the netting, to the great amusement of the other guests. Continue reading →
Filed under 50+, Health and Wellness, home
Tagged as bucket list, calm, goals, gratitude, guilt, hammock, inner, joy, peace, plans, relax, relaxation, relaxing, retirement, reward, rural, self-care, shade, stillness, summer, sun, time, trees
July 14, 2019 · 12:41 pm
In 2016, I published a blog post about the number of loyalty cards I was carrying and the challenge in keeping track of all of them. There had to be an easier way.
I still maintain that with impeccable client service and reasonable prices, we could probably skip loyalty programs.
But marketing wizards seem to have tapped into our basic human need to belong, and have turned clubs and memberships into an art form that seems to fill a void. Sometimes the exclusive rewards and personal offers are so well thought out that we overlook the consumer information that we have volunteered about ourselves to get to those benefits.
Shortly after that post appeared, I figured I had nothing to lose in trying to keep track of all of them with the smart phone apps that they were offering.
Initially, the issue I encountered was that my antiquity of a phone was sometimes too slow to produce the apps as soon as I needed them. To proceed with the experiment, I had to wait until my phone was retired and replaced.
When I bought a new phone, I jumped on the bandwagon in a big way and signed up for all of the apps to replace the imposing stack of loyalty cards I had accumulated.
My next task was to learn how to juggle products like a circus performer, while waiting in line to check out. I wanted to avoid the huffing, puffing and sighing from the shoppers behind me, as we all waited for an app to launch.
I became pretty good at holding different products under my armpits, between my legs, or in my teeth while needing both hands to swipe my way to the right app at the right time. I’m sure that there is some funny security footage out there to attest to my newly found skills. Continue reading →
Filed under 50+, Humour, Misc blogs
Tagged as apps, brand, branding, client service, loyalty, marketing, points, retail, reward, rewards, shopping, smart phones, technology
October 13, 2016 · 7:07 pm
If you have read some of my previous posts on the theme of retirement, you probably know that writing has already been carved in stone for my second career. Let’s face it, with fifty years of journaling behind me as well as enough ideas on pieces of scrap paper to wallpaper the CN Tower, I don’t think I will be running out of writing projects until the next millennium.
Watching the clock count down toward retirement is a mixed blessing. On one hand, I love my job and am concerned at how quickly the countdown is going. Will I have enough time to complete the work projects that are important to me, before I decide to hand in my security pass? On the other hand, the to-do list of personal projects I want to pursue is already starting to form in my mind and seems to grow longer with every passing month.
But just the same, there is that transition period between the two, where I plan on just taking it easy and leaving behind the old routine and making way for the new one.
I have worked very hard and I deserve the break. If high schoolers can have a “gap year”, why can’t retirees?
Here they are, my top 10 plans for my retirement gap year:
10 – Actually getting spring cleaning done during spring
In rushing around from week to week, between chores, gluten-free meal preparation and getting the regular housework done, I often find that my “spring cleaning” actually takes four seasons to get everything done, even with a good system of lists to keep me on track. I am hoping that by having more time to myself, the spring cleaning will eventually get contained to one season.
9 – Clear out my Netflix list
When I watch a program on Netflix and have the satisfaction of deleting it from “My List”, I am frequently tempted to check out the “Recently Added” section… and when I do, I usually end up adding three to five new items to “My List”. With almost 100 titles set aside for a rainy day, I am very much looking forward to a binge watching month.
8 – Catch up on all the movies I missed over the last decade
In addition to the programming offered on Netflix, I assume that there will be another list of movies I just didn’t have enough time to get around to seeing. My popcorn popper may have a hard time keeping up that year!
7 – Re-watch some of my favourite classic TV series
As if the programming in #8 and #9 aren’t enough, there will be favourite series on DVD or Blu-Ray that I will be overdue for watching again, as I tend to do from time to time. I may need to see all 14 seasons of Dallas again… just sayin’ Continue reading →
Filed under 50+, Humour, Inspiring, Lists, TV, Writing
Tagged as accomplishment, Baby boomer, boomer, break, enjoyment, freedom, funny, gap year, gen x, generation x, gratitude, humor, humour, life, relaxation, rest, retiree, retirement, retirement plans, reward, routine, success
August 21, 2016 · 10:58 am
There is no disputing that direct deposits and pre-authorized withdrawals have made personal finances much simpler.
Even if I am on vacation or feeling under the weather, it no longer matters if I am in the office on pay day. The money shows up in my account and shortly thereafter, the money comes out for the mortgage and utilities. (Easy come, easy go!) It is certainly convenient and saves me from standing in line to go pay the bills in person.
But in adopting this convenience, have we also phased out unique moments of joy? Are we missing out on moments to enjoy the fruits of one’s labour, the satisfaction of a job well done, and the incentive for why we work to earn a living?
Do you remember the thrill of your first job and getting paid for the first time? That was a feeling of power, wasn’t it? And do you remember the fleeting sense of financial independence and going to spend it on pizza, clothes, shoes, camera gear and journals… or maybe that was just me.
But the point is that there was a natural ebb and flow to earning, saving and spending. Receiving a paycheque was validating, rewarding and made me feel like I really made a contribution. The ritual of walking up to a teller or a bank machine and depositing this piece of paper that was the result of two weeks of blood, sweat and tears actually made me happy. It was also a motivator.
But now, with direct deposit and automatic withdrawals going on autopilot, I barely remember what week is pay week anymore.
A fond memory from the early years of my career, working as an assistant, was when the secretary was not in the office, I would be the one tasked with distributing the envelopes containing the paycheques. The warm reception and the smiles on people’s faces were something I will never forget. I even remember thinking to myself that this is what “spreading sunshine” is all about, making people happy like this. Continue reading →
Filed under Humour, Inspiring, Uncategorized
Tagged as automatic, budget, check, cheque, convenience, Direct deposit, earning, electronic, finances, gratitude, joy, money, paycheque, paystub, reward, salary, transaction, transactions, withdrawal, work