December 31 marks the one-year anniversary of my retirement. Whoo!
The Upside: More time to sketch, more time to go birding, more time to garden, more time to explore the city and nearby environs, more time with Truman. And more time to relax!
The Downside: All except one of my close friends are still working, so I can only hang with them on weekends. Also, because I am a morning person, the late afternoon hours can seem a little slow at times.
ART: Enjoyed going on sketch outings with Tina and Nicole, and with the Seattle Urban Sketchers. Got to participate in the group's Friday outings from time to time. Had fun painting decorative stuff on the walls of the living room. Had a blast with the West Coast Regional Urban Sketch Crawl in Tacoma.
BIRDS: Got the first new life bird in ages -- a lovely Snow Bunting at Discovery Park beach. Always enjoyed seeing the "regulars" at various parks around town, but was disappointed at the renovations occurring at the Montlake Fill, my favorite spot, which made it difficult to bird there. Was grateful to be able to watch the Osprey family successfully raise their three youngsters there over the summer, though.
I was also delighted and proud to be able to contribute to Seattle Audubon's centennial book. The volunteer gig on their publications committee turned out to be a perfect fit for me.
MONEY: Things were a bit tight due to my decision to retire at age 61 instead of my originally planned 62. As I was not eligible for Social Security benefits for a whole year, I had to live on half-wages of my government pension, supplemented by savings. Luckily, I had a full year's expenses in savings and wound up using only about a third of that. So I managed all right, though was not pleased about the unexpected hearing aid cost and several home repair/maintenance issues that arose. I'm happy to now be on my full retirement income!
NET RESULT: I'm SO HAPPY I left work early!!! I do not miss the daily bus commute. I do not miss the office politics and mismanagement and horrid morale. I LOVE getting up each morning and asking Truman, "Hey, what do you want to do today?"
And I love the fact that every day is Saturday.
HAPPY ALMOST NEW YEAR FROM OUR HOME TO YOURS!