New projects – a roadmap to this year’s activities


mapWith retirement comes a lot more time to complete unfinished works and plan new ones. I’ve had a few months to think about what I want to be doing with this new year, this new chapter in my life.  Oddly, nothing jumped out at me as I might have expected.  I guess it’s more about doing small things that will amount to a year of days filled with satisfying activities.  I must admit that I’ve always enjoyed quiet, solitary activities like crocheting, sewing or reading.  I even prefer taking long walks by myself.  Yet, in recent years, I discovered that I am a very social learner, preferring group work or at least lively discussion on the projects I am attempting to launch.  Luckily, my husband has a similar style and we can give each other long periods of companionable silence.  This weekend has been spent mostly in writing, reading or completing another crochet project.  I feel I should be more active or productive at least, yet the results of my efforts clearly show I am productive, if not physically active.

Over the holidays, I picked up a book to read in Mexico called The Happiness Project.  As usual, I never did get a chance to finish it, but I started to reflect on what my own happiness project might look like.  I know one thing about myself: although I like to attempt many different things, I am happiest when I complete them.  Sometimes reading a book in its entirety is a big challenge.  I just never seem to find the time to sit down for such a long period.  It’s been a frustration to me since I had my children and used to sneak in a few moments to read while they were in the tub.  Of course it was difficult to get the continuity of a book when I read about 5 pages per day if I was lucky.

In recent years, I discovered blogging, which is a reflective practice.  I’ve gotten used to reflective practice while taking some of my Masters courses.  For the most part, it is very satisfying, albeit time consuming, to keep up regularly.  However, I am rewarded by pages and pages of great stories and pictures about my life in the past 5 yrs.  It brings clarity to my fuzzy memory. I also “meet” some great people in this environment.


books to readBack to upcoming projects – I was cleaning the camper the other day and found a bunch of road maps and tour books that needed recycling.  I looked through a few and decided to store them on the bookshelf for future reference.  While I was looking through the shelves, I decided to pull out a group of books I want to read or finish in coming months.  Here’s my list in no particular order:

It’s a rather diverse collection but it reflects my tastes well.

Another project that is ongoing is this blog as well as the one I write for CLEE Canada.  I am trying to increase the readership and improve my use of social media.  I’ve recently tried the paper.li app which is basically a compilation of some of my Twitter feed.  Let me know if you like it by subscribing – https://paper.li/cteachr/1452908748.

Leon and I are planning more trips, of course. The first one should begin at the end of January.  We are planning to drive south to San Diego, then over to Arizona to visit some friends, see a bit of New Mexico and perhaps make it all the way to the Gulf Coast of Texas, time permitting.

We are still involved with the riding association of Langley-Aldergrove, so we want to be back for some of those events starting in March.  And then there are activities related to exchange teaching where we host teachers from other countries and help them discover our great province and country.  The BC group is much smaller than the one in Ontario. I am trying to increase our visibility through social media.  Right now I have the blog but am considering a Facebook page as well.  It’s a matter of me coming up with a strategy.

hatsLastly, there are the ongoing crochet projects.  So far, I’ve made a dozen hats for 25000 tuques – Vancouver.  These will be distributed to Syrian refugees as they arrive in the lower mainland.  And I will be attempting to make socks.  It seems like a small and portable project that would be compatible with long drives.

I haven’t mentioned physical activity, I know.  I hurt my toe in Mexico and it’s still not very comfortable to wear shoes, so long walks are not exactly what I am planning in coming weeks.  We are hoping to bring our bicycles on our trip south though.  That is always fun.  And I am continuing my Aquafit classes 3 times a week.

There are a lot of other interests I haven’t been able to link to future plans, such as lifelong learning (do I go back to school?  Take a few classes? Get a designation?), mentorship and volunteering.  Perhaps the upcoming trip and a chance to complete some of my reading will yield more concrete steps?

I may have few big plans for this year but I’d say I do have a bit of a roadmap.

 

 

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12 thoughts on “New projects – a roadmap to this year’s activities

  1. I am so looking forward to retirement in a few years. I do love my job and am happy to go to work but when the time comes to retire I won’t be looking back as I walk out the door! It sounds as if you are filling your days very nicely with lovely productive pastimes.

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    • How many more years till you retire? I was surprised when teaching in AU how late some teachers retired, like at 67 yrs old. I can’t imagine waiting that long.

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      • 60 seems sensible. As I was teaching high school, I couldn’t see myself relating to those students beyond that age. At 58, I feel I still have another career left in me. I just have to find one that accommodates my need to sleep until 10am each morning and allows me to work from home as much as possible.

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      • I would like to cut back to a four day week in another couple of years and have a long weekend every week.

        I know someone who said after she retired she always thought when she was working that 5 am was her natural wake up time but when she retired she realised it was actually 7 am.

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      • I thought of that too, or working only 1/2 days, but my health was not going to cooperate. When I worked in Bendigo, there were many teaching working a .80 load. One managed to get her schedule just right so she never worked Fridays. But what a hectic 4 days she had! The other issue I have with part-time teaching is that I couldn’t seem to turn it off once I left the school. Always marking and prepping to do. I was either working on it or feeling guilty that I wasn’t. Nice to have my Sundays all to myself again.

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      • I stay after work to get those jobs done and I rarely take work home. I like to leave it at the gate when I drive out each day. The hardest part about part time work is finding the right partner. Anyway, I’m back to work today after the long summer holidays so I need to get back into it! Blaah.

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      • Yes, finding a work partner is hard. Our system is not quite like that. The school board takes care of staffing it, so it’s just a status change. Lots of new mothers do it. The problem is going back to full time if you want to after take a change of assignment like that. But yes, I had originally pictures my retirement lead up as one last teaching exchange, then coming home to one last semester in the school here. Life happens when you are making other plans…

        Have a good school year!

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