Saturday, April 11, 2015

Retirement: Write, Stand up Paddle Board, travel- a new life chapter begins

Write, paddle board and travel: a new life chapter begins on Monday

As I’ve mentioned, I retired January 30, after owning and operating Tutor and Spunky’s Deli in Dana Point for 26 years, a job that kept me very busy.
People ask, “Now that you’ve sold the deli, won’t you get bored? What will you do with all of your free time?”

If the first two months of retirement are an indication, boredom is the least of my concerns. I’ve been busier than a cranberry at Thanksgiving.

When a small business is sold, there are a myriad of things that must be done. Usually, the seller agrees to train the buyer for a period of time. In my case, I spent 120 hours working with the new owners. 

And then there were tax returns that had to be prepared and filed. The federal government requires that business financial records must kept for up to seven years. So, those records must be packed and stored in case the government asks for them in the future.

Some people who are already retired told me that I will wonder where the time goes. I fall into that group. No boredom yet.

Newly retired people are asked: “What will you do with your time?” My answer is pretty simple: Write, Stand Up Paddle Boarding, and Travel.

As far as writing, I plan to continue with this complimentary Life and Love after 50 newsletter and my newspaper columns as well. My first published article on love after 50 was published on July 4, 1994--almost 21 years ago--in a local Dana Point, California newspaper. The situation hasn’t changed much for older singles, other than Internet dating, which didn’t exist back then. The most-asked question I hear remains the same: “Where are the men?” 

This week, a Champ wrote, “I am retired and would love to meet an available, honest, adventurous man. Where is he? I am fun, smart, spiritual, good looking and healthy. I love my family, friends, animals, and ENJOY my life. I am so ready to meet him. I am 70 years young, please pass this message on.”

I replied, “I wish I had an easy answer for your question. Finding a good quality mate after 50, 60, 70, and beyond is difficult, for both men and women. But it does happen.

“I tell older singles that they need to get out and about and meet new friends. But where to go?

“One example, here in Orange County is on the last Thursday of each month, Tutor and Spunky's Deli, 34085 Pacific Coast Highway, Dana Point, 92629, hosts a Meet and Greet for singles 50+. Anywhere from 25 to 75 people attend, depending on the weather, what's going on in the world, and other things.

“You could attend and check that out. Making new women friends is essential and that is a good place to do it.

“Also, dating online is certainly a mixed bag; there are jerks and scammers out there. But, there are also nice people and that might be one of the tools you try. Just proceed with caution.

“Attend as many social events as possible. Go to them to enjoy and not expecting to meet a man. It sounds like you have great credentials. Get out there and show the world you are a confident and positive woman.”

Regarding stand up paddle boarding (SUP), one of the most important things for retired people is exercise. In anticipation of retirement, in October I decided to give paddle boarding a try. In Dana Point, where I live, we have a protected harbor that is home to more than 3,000 yachts and sail boats. Unless the wind kicks up, the water is quite calm and paddling is a pleasure.

Three times a week, at least, I launch from a place called Baby Beach. Sea lions and birds enrich the experience. And except for the board and the paddle, the sport is free. For people who don’t want to paddle, walking around our harbor is great exercise.

This week I was thinking I had become a pretty good paddler; I hadn’t fallen into the chilly waters in a couple of months, although it seemed others were faster than I. Then, an old-timer paddled by and said, “You’re dragging your leash (which is secured to your leg) in the water; it’s slowing you down.”

Yup, he was right. Adding to the drag was a large clump of seaweed. I placed the leash on top of my board and wow, I noticed a difference right away. In retirement, there is a lot to learn.

As far as travel, when I met my life partner Greta 17 years ago, one of the characteristics we had in common was a love of travel. True, when I owned the deli, we were able to get away on several trips. But, as those of you who own or owned a small business know, you aren’t totally free when you travel because you think about whether the business has enough money, or whether a refrigerator breaks down, or any number of possible problems.

Now, I won’t have to worry about deli issues. Our plan is to travel as much as we can as long as we are able to. Our first trip begins Monday. We are off to Austria and Central Europe for seven weeks, which concludes with a two-week river cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam. If I hear of any romance-after-50 stories on our travels, I will share them with you.

At the least, I will be posting details of the trip on my travel website blog. So, I will be mixing two of my retirement activities, writing and travel, while we’re gone.

As far as stand up paddle boarding, I doubt if that will be possible on the Danube or Rhine rivers. I guess we will be doing a lot of walking instead.

Here is a link to the website. On the home page, click on the travel blog tab. I hope you will follow us and email your comments.

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