At the end of each year I usually do a recap and talk about the blogs I wrote. I didn't do that this time. But if I had written one, it would have been the shortest one... I only wrote six blog posts the entire year. The least I've ever written. I wrote ten in 2021. So I'm not going to bother recapping a year that flew by. It was a year that I've been planning for a good while because I knew I was going to become an empty nester. I kind of just eased into this new lifestyle in the fall, doing more in the community, attending events, but I have big plans for 2023.
For starters, I began the year with 21 days of positive manifestation exercises. I wrote them out on these dashboards for my planner. I took out all the old dashboards and I started the year with fresh new pages.
I was reading back on blog entries from seven years ago and I set six and seven year plans for preparing the kids to be ready to go off to school. They did in fact go out of state like I predicted, so I'm alone while they're in school in New York.
Now I'm setting new seven and twelve year plans for myself. In seven years I'll be sixty!! (That blows my mind!) And in twelve years I'll be sixty-five, retirement age. I'm actively working on all the things that I need to accomplish in order to be healthy and ready for retirement. I do not want to get to the end of this road of working my whole life only to find that I have illnesses that keep me from doing the things I want to do.
Just to be clear, I am realistic enough to realize that sometimes the Universe has different plans for us and there are some illnesses that are inevitable. We can't do anything about those. I'm talking about the illnesses that I CAN avoid by being mindful and balanced about what I eat and how much I exercise.
What are some of my plans for retirement? I'm going to yell some of my ideas out to the universe or the interwebs!
1. I want to really give my writing the time that it deserves. I want to actively work on sending my work out to literary magazines and working on novels I want to write. These are things that I can start doing now that I'm an empty-nester and I've claimed back so many hours in my life.
2. I want to buy a renovated vintage trailer and a small pickup truck for my retirement and travel around Texas and neighboring states with it.
3. I'd like to live in a different European country three months at a time. Maybe three months there and come home for three months. This idea is still very preliminary. Ideas for countries? Spain of course, Italy, France and Greece. Maybe countries in the UK, but I need to visit first.
So what are the things I'm doing in the next few years to prepare for retirement? Some of the same old song and dance. Eat right, exercise and write. Write, write, write. I can only get where I want by writing, like a musician practices their instrument.
I want to go visit the spots I'm thinking of living in and I need to start budgeting how much rent will cost, etc... Then start working on a plan for how I'm going to pay for my retirement besides social security, 401K and my pension. I'm sitting on a nice little nest egg right now (house and land) and that's a whole other decision in itself.
My word for 2023 is "Balance." It's a year of practicing balance in everything I do. No overeating or overindulging, no overspending, taking care of myself, writing and traveling when I can, both domestically and internationally. It's also the year my girl graduates from college so there's a big New York trip in May for her graduation and to get Seth packed up for the summer. I love New York!
Always keeping in mind that, "life is what happens when you're making plans." Cheers to a great 2023!