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The privilege of re-acquainting ourselves with guests that stayed with us nine years ago happened recently.   All of us are near retirement age and wondering what to do about it, when to take the next step, and where to let the foot fall. It is uncharted territory for those that are used to working full time, especially if nine to five has never been a part of the time equation.

Retirement means more trips to Hawaii

Retirement was just dreams of Hawaii

Heading towards retirement has always been a ‘when we retire we will….’ type of plan for us.  Nothing was written down or spelled out.

Retirement plans were just dreams of what we wanted to do when we retired.

Part of it was that invincibility of youth that growing old is, well, for older people.  We have been working for the day when we had the freedom to come and go and not have to get up and ‘go to work’ but what exactly does that mean? When does that day come and are we really prepared?

Do you just quit one life and move onto the next?  Is there a transition that helps you work into that next phase? Or do you just stop everything you have done for the past thirty or forty years because you have retired?

Hopefully the services of a great accountant and financial planner help the transition to retirement. You know, to make sure that we can keep a roof over our head, food on the table and gas in the car (for as long as ‘they’ will let me drive!) with some left over for a bit of travel and fun.

Hawaii in February 2008 - We are starting to travel now... why wait for retirement?

Hawaii in February 2008 - We are starting to travel now... why wait for retirement?

But what about the emotional side of retirement?  We need purpose, a reason to get up in the morning, something interesting and challenging to occupy our days. What if you don’t have hobbies, pets, or  a variety of interests?  Mr. C said it best “I’ve worked all my life and I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have work.”

Maybe I should take Art lessons from Janet Cameron?

Maybe I should take Art lessons from Janet Cameron?

Over the years I’ve thought workaholics will not be happy if they are not working.  If you take away their present work they will create other work and become equally involved and stressed. They are self generators. For some that would be digging lakes, laying sod, and any other physical projects to keep busy. For others mental exercises such as writing a book, or becoming involved in say humanitarian efforts. The problem seems to be deciding on the degree of involvement.

Or, I will enjoy breakfast with Rick on the deck instead of serving our guests breakfast there!
Or, I will enjoy breakfast with Rick on the deck instead of serving our guests breakfast there!

I am mentally capable of learning something new and perhaps physically too. I would guess the need lies in finding the desire to make the change from what we know to something that we do not. Will it take a life altering trauma to make us stop the fast train and switch tracks?  I do not have the answer, but I do have many questions.  I think I will take my old dog for a walk and contemplate further.

Do we retire or keep working?

Retirement means more walks with the dog

Julie’s Note: This is my dog Bram shown beside Chewy, Mom and Dad’s dog. This was actually taken a year ago this weekend.

Mom and Dad should return from their travels on Tuesday…just in time for the Canadian Federal Election.

I’m going to make a bacon and egg pie this weekend and will be sending it out to our Recipe of the Week subscribers. If you want to get the delicious recipe please sign up for the free newsletter. You’ll also get this fantastic Brunch Planner that Mom and I put together… it’s complete with a 4 course menu, shopping list and of course recipes. Perfect if you’re hosting family or friends this Canadian Thanksgiving Long Weekend!!


Brunch planning tips, theme ideas, menus, shopping lists and recipes all free in the Breakfast with the Broads Brunch Planner. Sign up and get a new recipe every week by e-mail. Breakfast will never be boring again!

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October 2008