I remember when I was planning and planning for my retirement. My beloved partner would often calm my fears, telling me we will be fine. We can do this. It will just mean living with what we have. It sounded scary at first, but then we did a trial run pre-retirement - simplifying our lifestyle, discovering what was important and needed to stay and what really wasn't missed once it was gone. Cable TV - gone! Eating out a lot - reduced, a lot! Cell phone data plan - well, still pondering that one!
Of course, it was not just about money. Retirement had to have enoughness in other areas too - enough to satisfy, and even beyond that - bring joy, peace, and, of course, continue to protect and grow our love for each other. Yowzers! I listened to my heart, took a measure of my health and made the crazy decision to retire early. I also made the decision to move eight hours west to a resort community built around the warmest lake in North America! But, then, many of you know this.
So, I ask you, how does one find joy, peace, love and good health on a budget? That is a very personal decision. For me, that meant engaging in an experiment that will, I think, last for the rest of my life. Leaving the nine to five realm released me from the constraints of a fish bowl into the ocean. Sometimes I ventured into the social and physical wonders of small-town living and sometimes I retreated to a peaceful, lovely casa in the mountainous desert of British Columbia. Sometimes I drifted. Other times, well, I fought against the current or even treaded water! Ebb and flow. Of course, this can be a life directive at any stage along your journey; however, for me, I never seemed to have the time and energy to discover this phenomenon; or, perhaps, I just never had the courage to give it a try!
Sometimes you just have to jump in and start swimming!So far, one year has pushed me and prodded me to write a story for a new audience, paint with a group, swim (or float) with no concern about the rolls and wobbles exposed to the world, and relax in the quiet of my own home to read, paint, sleep, repeat. I walked the shore, photographed the emotions mirrored in the lake, and rested on a bench, alone or not, content and full of awe at the tranquility water can integrate into my soul. Here is where I could talk about the storms, the sharks, and the empty sails - but, maybe that will be for another blog!
Ah, there it is!