Double milestone

OMG empty  desk2

It’s been three months now since I last sat at my desk at The Oregonian/OregonLive.

Today marks the end of my first three months as a retiree — 91 days to be exact, thanks to Leap Year Day in February.

Today also marks Blog Post No. 400 on Rough and Rede II since I switched from Blogspot to WordPress in January 2014.

No need to review the past 27 months on R&R II, other than to say that: (1) I’m proud of maintaining a blog that has been a comfortable outlet for self-expression, and (2) I’m grateful to see it become a platform for engaging with friends and family, as well as fellow bloggers, both familiar and new.

As for my status as a new retiree, I have to say the year got off to a forehead-slapping start. One day, I poured coffee into my cereal bowl. Another day I went out in public with my new sweatpants on backwards.

Once I got those basics straightened out, it was a matter of realizing that virtually every day was like a weekend day — free of work commitments and ripe with possibilities for new and favorite activities.

I began the year with two modest goals: to get out of town and try new things.

(Click on images to view captions.)

I haven’t done much about the traveling bit. There was a weekend stay at the Oregon coast in February and a trip to the San Diego area this month with Lori, Simone & Kyndall to celebrate Dad’s 90th birthday with my two sisters and their families. Today, though, will find me enjoying the waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge.

I have tried a few new things. At Lori’s urging, I’ve joined her in Saturday morning cycling classes at our gym. I’ve also begun a weekly urban hike that takes me into different Portland neighborhoods. Both activities are good for my legs and lungs.

On this blog, I’ve added a new feature called Friday Flashback and posted three guest blog posts — all with the idea of adding to the texture of voices and topics found here. And in February, I volunteered at the Portland International Film Festival — a great way to see a handful of films for free.

What makes a place a home / Simina Mistreanu

A teacher’s continuing education / Emily Zell

The empty seat / Michelle Dragoo

I have to say that I haven’t missed the newsroom, though I think of those still working at The Oregonian/OregonLive with great affection and respect. I’ve stayed active, though, as a volunteer by participating as a panelist at a journalism conference in Portland; speaking to a college communications class in Vancouver; and judging a national writing contest for high school journalists.

On the social end of things, all this free time has allowed me more “guy time” over breakfast, lunch or happy hour with assorted friends. I’m still bowling every Monday night and this year added two new teammates.

I also have to say that Lori has been extraordinarily accommodating in giving me time to get my feet under me and trusting that things that need to get done will get done.

I know she would do things differently than me, but I’m one of those people who prefers loose structure and variety to routine and a get-it-done-immediately mindset.

I still exercise almost every day, but if I don’t need to be at the gym between 5:30 and 6, as I used to do while still working, then why be an early bird? Nothing wrong with mid-morning or mid-afternoon exercise as long as it doesn’t get in the way of anything else.

Aside from that, I make time every day for reading and writing, and  I spend more time with our dogs than ever before. Otto and Charlotte are good company and all three of us are happy to see Lori when she walks in the door after her workday is done.

Life is good.

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4 thoughts on “Double milestone

  1. Thanks for this update, George. And congratulations on both milestones! I admire and applaud your embrace of retirement – a good model for me and many of us who have the good fortune to shape this stage of life in some different ways than earlier generations did. A friend of mine calls it “refocusing” rather than “retiring.” Sounds like you’re zooming in on what’s important.

    • Thank you, Iris. These twin milestones sneaked up on me. I’m glad to know I’m providing a worthy model of retirement. Are you at the same stage or preparing for it? Either way, I like that concept of “refocusing” rather than “retiring.” I’m fortunate to have good health and a supportive spouse as I move forward in this new chapter of life. Sometime in 2017, I hope/expect Lori will join me as a retiree. She loves her work and her loyal base of personal training clients.

  2. Hello, George. I’m Mary Pimentel, Debbie Pimentel’s granddaughter. I have finally been able to see your blog, and so far, I love it. I enjoy your enthusiasm and positive outlook on life. Thank you for sharing with us. You are inspiring. I hope one day I can have a successful blog such as yours.

    • Hi, Mary. Thank you for taking time to read and comment on my blog. I appreciate your kind words. I will be in touch with you, as I understand from Debbie that you have some writing aspirations of your own.

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