|just before I blew out the candles!|
…five years ago today my leadership team treated me to lunch – to celebrate my upcoming retirement*. We went to Maggiano’s (always a group favorite) and I’m sure we shared fried calamari, Maggiano’s salad and gnocchi (those were my favorite dishes!) There was even cake for dessert. and candles. I know I made a wish when I blew them out…but I have to say – I’m pretty sure things turned out better than I could’ve wished. These last five years have been so full – and taken me to places I couldn’t imagine!
Beginning with learning to use a calendar…for my “real” life. It was so simple when I worked. I was busy all day during the week. I made the occasional weekend plans, met up with my sister on Wednesday evenings and had bookclub the third Wednesday of every month. That was pretty much it. I kept an “upcoming” list on my blog sidebar and that was all I needed. Now each day is different, but full-ish (except for Tuesdays when I babysit Charlie…all day 🙂 and my calendar is a huge friend. “Empty days” are rare.
I’ve re-joined my church and stepped up to lead women’s groups, bible studies and the prayer shawl ministry, as well as teaching high school Sunday School and serving as a Deacon.
Teaching knitting. Managing the shop’s on-line presence (except for Facebook…tried it, hated it, quit!) Carole wrote yesterday about “hobbies” and I have to say mine has turned out well. In my official “I’m retiring letter” I wrote that I’d be teaching knitting because I’d promised Marc he wouldn’t have to support my hobby. My boss borrowed a bit of that language when he formally announced my retirement. But at that point I had only one planned class (the February Lady Sweater, to be offered on a Sunday afternoon so folks who worked during the week could participate). It filled up quickly and I was asked to teach a Monday night beginner class too. Things have ebbed and flowed and now I have two full classes – Monday night and Wednesday afternoon. No more beginners (whew!). I also write the shop’s newsletter and blog, manage our Ravelry forum and Instagram account and dream up ideas for all that…including knit-alongs. (post to come shortly on what that’s meant for my own knitting! spoiler alert…it’s not all good!). I never dreamed I’d love teaching like I do, and the whole on-line aspect of knitting is…huge! and fun. (and it more than pays for my yarn!)
The Knitting Club. A few years back, one of my friends started a knitting group on Thursday afternoons. at the local nursing home. She asked if I’d be willing to help and I said yes. We’ve since added another volunteer. And a LOT more knitters. None of our original “students” are still there, but we have a new group of regulars and now it’s knitting and crocheting. and it’s one of the most rewarding hours of my week. Holly loves it too…and the ladies love that she’s there – always “willing” to be held and petted!
House 2.0. I can’t believe we’ve been in our “new” house over two years now. It’s totally home. and I’m finally learning my way around this new part of town.
Working out. I have time for walks with friends (taking a break from running…maybe a permanent break?!) and yoga classes at the Y. In the spirit of managing my calendar, these are all appointments. in purple 🙂
Katie moved back to Atlanta and married a wonderful guy. They had a baby last September. Sara graduated high school and college (with highest honors) and got a great job…in Wisconsin. I got a dog.
I’ve had time to spend with my parents (hey, Florida in January and February is not a bad thing!) when my dad’s had surgery. We are so very grateful there is nothing in the plans for 2015… not that I wouldn’t welcome a week of sunshine…or even temperatures above 40 degrees.
…and maybe the only things I could’ve imagined and wished for. Marc and I are still happily married. I still knit. and occasionally…I write about all of this. apparently way less than I did when I “worked”. which still amazes me!
*I wasn’t actually retirement-eligible when I left… Marc says I merely quit a very well-paying job. He’s right. But I had good reasons!