Six of us learned the art of making fancy boxes at an eat-and-craft pre-Super Bowl party. We stuffed dainty portions of cookies or candy in them to make the perfect Valentine’s Day gift. Of course, we ate them right away.
In retirement our friend, Helen Bauer has taken up several crafts that she teaches to Boys and Girls Club Members. These activities align perfectly to S.T.E. A. M. or Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics as students solidify and apply their knowledge of fractions and three-dimensional geometry.
Helen donated her time and all the materials to make these boxes and all the goodies to go inside of them to the Woodlake High School Foundation. Thank you, Helen. We had a great time.
The creative part of our box making experience involved fancy papers and stamped designs. I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on this subject. There are lots of those. Stampin Up (SU) demonstrators give away their templates, measurements, but the products can be costly if you get hooked like Helen.
We read a lot about downsizing these days as Baby Boomers are actively pursuing new ways of life as they consider retirement. “Rightsizing” is a process that implies a less than a cutthroat approach to restructuring than downsizing.
I have been following Kathy’s blog SMARTLiving365.comand recently had the opportunity to write this guest post while she was enjoying some travel. Kathy and I met in person at the BAM 2016 conference in Las Vegas. We found each other to be kindred spirits as well as neighbors living in California!
After reading Kathy’s book Rightsizing: A SMART Living 365 Guide To Reinventing Retirement, I also identified the ways I have rightsized my life. A big key for my semi-retirement was being able to retire from my day job of 32 years at the relatively young age of 55. After paying into the CalPERS (public employees retirement system) for years, I now receive 65% of my income as a pension.
Three other reasons factored into my semi-retirement decision:
1. Dissatisfaction at work. The economic downturn of 2008-2012, which acutely affected California, caused many folks to retire “early” (read: younger than if they had waited until the traditional retirement age of 62-65) from the public parks and recreation organization for which I worked. As a result, too many new people started making swift (and poor) decisions that affected best practices which became too much to bear. When I was passed over for promotion for the third time over a 10-year period, I knew it was time to go.
2. Being able to teach part-time. The ability to retire hinged upon the continuation of my teaching job at a university, where I am a part-time lecturer enjoying sharing my 35+ years of experience in the field with parks and rec majors. As a lecturer (and now “Retired Annuitant” I am able to teach 15 units per year). The money is GOOD and nicely supplements my pension.
3. My husband got hired with my former organization in facility maintenance. He now carries the health benefits, and he has the potential for moving up in the organization while still experiencing job satisfaction.
All those added up to my semi-retirement.
Best. Decision. Ever
These are the three areas where I rightsized my life: Read the original post to find out what they are.
Want a unique travel experience? Badfish writes an amazing travelogue about his trip to Malta. Malta is in the Mediterranean south of Sicily. I’ve never seen such blue waters. You will enjoy his lively sense of humor as well.