Defining Retirement

I am newly retired.  After 25 years of owning my own business and 2 years of managing another I have retired.  I am not a fan of the word or the concept.  My full time job currently is attempting to determine what I want to be when I grow up.

It is my understanding that most individuals these days actually have 3 professions.  I have completed two and am looking at possibilities for the third.

You can come along for the ride as I explore the opportunities.

On June 30th, 2014, I closed A L’Amour, a bridal shop in suburban Illinois.  A mere three weeks later (allowing no time to organize all of the left-overs of 24+ years in business), I found myself in Norfolk, Virginia assisting my son and his family in the relocation of their family to his current assignment in the Navy.

We spent nearly a month assisting with his move and our temporary move.  We were relocating to the small carriage house apartment over the garage of his home.  It would be a trial period to determine if we would be able to assist with the 3rd and 5th grader while mom worked and dad was often away.

I will discuss that endless transition as well as adapting to a smaller space in future blogs.

After a trip back to Illinois and nearly a month of organizing the disorganization at home, we returned to Norfolk.  We agreed to give this “arrangement” until April.  We would take care of the girls after school 3 days per week, live in the carriage house and assist with activity transportation, as well as be on call for additional events.

We were in need of a winter away from the Chicago area, and wanted to give a transition ample time.

The biggest problem…me.  I had worked full time (overtime) for 24 years.  Now I was in a small space with someone else’s furniture and a husband underfoot 24/7.  Talk about a transition!!

In future blogs I will discuss a multitude of things having to do with the transition.  My biggest obstacle was keeping busy and relevant.  I did not want to be a “babysitter”.  I wanted to be a Granma.  I didn’t want to play bridge or shop.

What did I want to do?  I decided the most important thing was to set some goals.

I contemplated getting a job, but that would be difficult from 9-2:30 3 days per week. Plus I did not want to get tied down right away.  We continue to want to travel.

After many weeks of thought I set 3 initial goals.

1.  To influence the lives of my grand girls.  To impact their young lives in a positive and consistent way without interfering in their parents’ control.

2.  To write…to blog.

3.  To cook.  Since I LOVE to cook, I set a goal to fix at least one new recipe several times per week.  Since I would be cooking for the entire family on Mondays and Wednesdays, I would definitely plan new creations on those days.

Sooo…how is it going?

I am learning ways of being a Granma on more of a full time basis.  It is not easy combining discipline and spoiling.  Room here for a multitude of insights.

I am writing 2 blogs…Letters From Granma, and Three Forks in the Road as well as preparing to write still another.

I have tried and tested more recipes than I ever dreamed.  I think I have averaged about 1 per day believe it or not.  Some are worth repeating, many are not.  But some have become amazing additions to my collection.  I plan to post only the favorites.

So, as I continue to define retirement, I will ask you to join the journey.   Insights are always welcome.