January 20, 2012

What Are You Doing Now That Excites You?

A new year usually gives us a heightened sense of the possible. Our mind wants to distance itself from last year's problems and disappointments. We hatch new ideas, make plans both large and small, and rededicate ourselves to making the best of our satisfying retirement in the days ahead.

With that setup, it is now your turn. What are you doing right now that really excites you? What plans have you made for the coming year? I'm thinking a bit more than a resolution to lose weight or finish that bookcase, though they are important and worth your follow-through.

But, what is it that gets you out of bed, fired up and ready to go? It could be a passion or hobby you are in love with. Speaking of love, it could be a new relationship that has you unable to focus.

Maybe you are starting a new business, or closing down the one that has supported you and your family for a few decades and you are excited by the future.

You could be knee-deep in planning for that dream cruise in the Mediterranean or packing up for a move to the sunshine.

I write a lot about what excites me, and I plan on continuing to do so. But, for now, I am fascinated to find out what excites you. What does 2012 hold in store for you that you can't wait to experience or love doing as often as possible?

Tell us...........


  1. The month of January use to be a depressing month for me – post holidays, in a rut, cold outside,… not this year though. Since talking up a new hobby – distance walking, the month of January is a planning month for all of the races/distance events I will do this year. I love it! It’s not just the race/event, it’s the build up to it, the researching the area, discovering the history behind it, finding unique places to eat there,… I’m about five years (give or take) out from retirement so I decided to have a little fun with this and challenged myself to do 100 races/distance events and then I can retire! Oh yeah – the other fun part is blogging about it!

  2. What timing for this question! Tomorrow my wife and i travel to Burlington, VT to officially move into our "Little House", a one-bedroom accessory apartment of only 460 square feet in what was part of a detached garage on the property of our daughter and her family. Radiant heated floors with an on-demand heating unit. We're in a kind of reverse snowbird mode.

    Besides having our own new vacation/visiting space (Burlington and Lake Champlain are absolutely wonderful), we can explore the challenges of "living small" in order to live large. Hiking and biking trails and a beautiful public boat ramp all five to ten minutes away. A Wednesday night bluegrass jam only 20 minutes away, and a college town full of other wonderful activities and community spirit. And two darling granddaughters only fifty yards away!

    Yup, exciting is the word for this one.

  3. Scott,

    I've never heard of distance walking. Tell me more.

    I certainly understand the excitement of the planning and researching phase. I do the same thing with vacations. I think I like the prep work almost as much as actually taking a trip.

    Folks: Walking to Retirement is Scott's blog. Pay him a visit!

  4. Banjo Steve,

    Wow..what an exciting time. I'll be anxious to read about the living small experiment in your blog. And, being that close to a weekly bluegrass jam is heaven for a banjo player.

    Going to college in upstate New York meant occaional visits to Burlington for skiing and getaways. It is a stunningly beautiful area. Enjoy.

  5. By the way, I just ran across a fascinating interview from last year with the guy who calls himself Banjo Steve on Ralph Carlson's blog. Check it out: http://bit.ly/grVrii

  6. My primary excitement this month is that my husband will be joining me in retirement in May, at which point we will initiate a newly expanded lifestyle that incorporates everything we already enjoy doing, just a whole lot more of it.

    In between now and then I'll be training for a half marathon with my daughters (my official training kicked off yesterday), clearing the decks here at home so we're set to take off once May hits, and enjoying a lovely two week cruise to Hawaii and back.

    Viva 2012!

  7. Tamara,

    You have set yourself up for an incredible 2012. Good for you and your husband. The attitude you both have about retirement almost guarantees success. There will be bumps as he adapts to LAF (life after work) but since you guys share so many interests, no problem.

    A 2 week cruise to Hawaii...can I come as your butler and go-fer?

  8. My wife and I have a shared passion, namely riding our Harley motorcycles. This year we are looking forward to traveling throughout the SE from our home in TN. We also are starting to think about putting a plan in place to take our daughter and son-in-law to Disneyworld with us; sort of reverting back to some of my daughter's favorite vacation times. All while I continue to work for the forseeable future.

  9. You are going to laugh when I confess what excites me. Besides the obvious love of being with my family and my enjoyment of writing, what really lights my fire these days is martial arts.

    I got my black belt in taekwondo last November. Now I am moving into a different level of training. I am really excited about working with weapons. I've already started classes with swords and next week I have my first class with nunchucks. I've also helped organize a women's sparring class.

    In addition to taekwondo, I am also practicing tai chi, and will be learning a new form this year.

    I'm not training as hard as I was when I was preparing for my black belt test (thank goodness), but I go to several classes a week. I like the physical and mental/spiritual aspects of martial arts practice.

    Sounds pretty crazy for someone who just turned 60, right? But for me it's great fun!

  10. Chuck Y,

    Motorcycles are not my thing, but I have neighbors who love nothing better than heading out on a Saturday morning and putting 300 miles on their bike. There is also a lady in our small group at church who rides a huge Harley, wears the leather chaps to church, and has a black leather jacket covered with verses from the Bible. Quite an interesting sight!

    The idea of taking your daughter and son-in-law to Disney World is a fabulous idea. Regardless of your age, it is a magical place for anyone, but especially those with fond childhood memories.

    And, you are still working!

  11. Galen,

    I wouldn't dare laugh..you could seriously hurt me!

    It doesn't sound crazy at all. It sounds absolutely perfect. You have found a passion that lights your fire and you aren't letting artifical constraints stop you. More people should have your openness and courage to ignore common wisdom.

    When I come back to the Pacific NW, though, I will give you plenty of warning. Sneaking up on Galen could be a mistake.

    I truly love your story.

  12. Well, as I tell everyone who fears me, if you stand really still and do exactly what I tell you, I can defend myself against you!

  13. Bob,

    Distance walking is akin to distance running, e.g. half marathons, marathons,... Over the past 5-10 years race directors have increased the time that courses are open for folks to complete the race. A lot of these races have become walker-friendly. It widens the pool of potential 'racers'. Sometime it is hard to think of it terms of being a race - I'm not really trying to win. It's fun, it's social, it's healthy,...

  14. Galen,

    Good answer!


    Ok, so like the 5K marathon that allows walkers...got it. That might be fun to participate in. There are lots of those in the Phoenix area for all times of the year except summer.

  15. This may be a little cheeky answer to your larger, astute, and sincere question (hold the agreement here to a minimum please) ... just because "my" San Francisco 49er professional football team is still in the playoffs!

    It is very exciting that some of the family will be watching the game this Sunday in our living room at home. And in fact our single son (as in not married) is going to take Amtrak into the Bay Area just to join fans watching the game at some place loud with a video feed across the street from Candlestick Park.

    Of course we 49er fans all respectful carry on our shoulders the now dashed allegiances of many other fans to other teams.

    Go Niners


  16. QwkDrw,

    Watching a playoff football game with fans and featuring a team you care about can be a great time. That certainly qualifies as exciting, at least for 3 hours.

    Of course if the Giants win, excitement will turn to gloom rather quickly. But, that's the risk, isn't it?

    Have fun. Without the Cardinals involved I'll support the west coast against the east anytime.

  17. I just landed another position working for a local newspaper. I'm back to being a journalist again. This time it's bigger and better than before.

    I should be working for the NY Times in no time!

  18. What has gotten me excited this year is finishing up things that are almost done. I have a tendency to leave just a bit undone and moving on. So far I redesigned one of my websites and changed a theme on my main one. I seem to avoid doing the final step. I guess I'm afraid of missing something. This year I am working to overcome that weakness.

  19. Morrison,

    Congratulations! That is exciting news. Hope you still have time to blog.


    I remembered your interview with Banjo Steve but didn't know when it was. Luckily Google can find anything.

    Closing out the deal is something I am sure you did all the time during your business years. Retirement is no different except there's no pay! Good luck this year.

    BTW, I like the cleaner look of your blog.

  20. Steve in Los AngelesFri Jan 20, 10:50:00 PM MST


    What gets me really excited this year is paying off even more of the mortgage balance on my place! I really am determined to pay off the remaining balance no later than March 31, 2017! Eventually becoming truly financially independent is very exciting. Reaching my financial goals includes being out of debt completely.

  21. Steve,

    Having a zero mortgage balance is a very liberating moment. Not only can no one take your home from you, but it frees up a lot of money each month for other purposes, like retirement savings!

  22. Going to San Diego in Feb. to visit my daughter at the zoo. No, she's not an inmate ... she'll be working there for a while.

  23. Sightings,

    I've decided you are just slightly off plumb...in a good way.

    Have fun on the left coast next month. The San Diego Zoo is a tremendously entertaining spot (not so much for the animals, just the visitors).

  24. Steve in Los AngelesSat Jan 21, 11:32:00 PM MST


    You stated, "Having a zero mortgage balance is a very liberating moment. Not only can no one take your home from you, but it frees up a lot of money each month for other purposes, like retirement savings!"

    You are absolutely correct! I also want to add that the Internet site for my mortgage loan servicer has a web page on which I can download an amortization table based on my current loan balance at any given moment in time. Paying down my loan faster than required actually has become FUN!!!

  25. I started teaching a 13 year old how to read. He "missed" school from K-4 and has been faking it ever since. I get him for 16 weeks....
    Teaching is my passion. Tried the juvenile center, but the paper work and demands there are way too many. One child at a time seems to work for me.
    We have our fingers crossed that we will be helping our daughter to rehab a new-to-her house this summer and fall.
    The flexibility of retirement is amazing!

  26. A couple of things:

    1. Sharing our book with veterans' clinics - we've decided to send complimentary copies out, a few at a time.

    2. A road trip to Tennessee, Kentucky and southwest Virginia, checking out where my ancestors settled in the 1800s.

  27. Janette,

    Good for you. What a tremendous use of your background. Reading is such a basic skill that someone who is unable to do so is doomed to a life of unending problems.

    I'm not sure I'd have the patience. A few years ago I did teach a man to prepare for his GED and found myself having to deep breathe when he didn't grasp some simple concepts.

  28. Linda,

    Have a safe trip back to the Seattle area tomorrow! And, welcome to Arizona as a snowbird next year. Maybe we can hook up for a hike in Sedona or Tucson next time.

    Sharing the book with veterans' clinics is a tremendous idea. For readers who don't know, Linda and her husband wrote a book about his Vietnam experience and how it affected him: "Return to Viet Nam: One Veteran's Journey of Healing." You can learn more on Linda's web site.

    Let's see, Hawaii, Arizona, Ecuador, and now a road trip. You are certainly not fitting the image of a retiring retiree!

  29. Planning and taking a few trips are exciting me this year. My husband and I are both retired now, so we can jump on deals that we see on the Internet and just go!

    We're going to Florida for a week, and I'm planning a trip to Virginia with my elderly mom later this year. She lived there when she was first married and has many fond memories. She can't wait to go there with me!

    I'm learning a lot about Facebook and how to create advertisements. The owner of the fitness facility where I teach wants to hire me to set up a computerized check-in and payment system for her. I'm excited at the prospect of learning even more technology.


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