Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mom’s out there! To all of the mothers that sacrificed, gave when the well was dry and shed worried tears of blood. It made a difference, and the world is better because you are a mother that cares.
“Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had, and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed.”
Then, at some unexpected point in life, it all comes to fruition, and you realize that you are blessed beyond what you ever gave.
I am sending virtual hugs to all of those that have lost their mom and cannot hug her today.
“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”
Do you really need to take a vacation when you are retired, since every day is like a vacation? Why yes, yes we do. Retirement has many similarities to a vacation, such as sleeping in if we want and the freedom to choose how to spend your time. We choose what we want to do and what we need to do. And there in lies the rub; when we are home, even in retirement, there are things we need to do. When we are home, whether we are retired or not, we still need to clean the house, wash the cloths, shop for groceries, plan and prepare meals, mow the lawn, pay the bills and meet our responsibilities to others. A vacation frees us from those responsibilities for a little while.
According to AllinaHealth and Selecthealth, taking a vacation has several benefits:
Improves mental health
Provides a greater sense of well being
Boosts happiness (After all, isn’t planning and thinking about it half the fun?)
Decreases your risk for heart disease (We have the added benefit that we walk A LOT when we travel.)
Increases productivity & creativity (While this may be referring to paid work, it can certainly be applied to retirees as well.)
Strengthens relationships (My husband and are just lighter together when we travel. Not physically, but emotionally. And when you travel with or visit others, you build shared memories.)
My husband and I just got back from a micro vacation last week. We have jokingly categorized our vacations into mini, micro and macro. Mini vacations are quick, sometimes spur of the moment trips that are close to home and we can drive to. They last between 2-5 days. Micro vacations are more planned trips that last 1-2 weeks and are usually in the continental United States. Then there are the macro vacations that take up to two weeks or more. These are often outside of the continental U.S. Our goal is to take at least one macro trip, two micro trips and numerous mini trips per year.
While retirees no longer need to escape the time commitments and stress that exists with work, we still need the benefits that vacations provide. I would have to add a few more items to the list of benefits that I gain whenever I travel. Whether it is a mini, micro or macro vacation I always come home with:
A new appreciation for home. The old sayings, “it is good to leave home and it is good to come back” is so true. I love to travel, but there is always a peace about coming back to the sanctuary of our home.
A new appreciation for our friends and family that live near us. It is good to step away, as it refreshes relationships and it makes us appreciate them more when we meet up again.
It sparks my creative juices. Seeing new sights and experiencing different cultures broadens my thinking and makes me look at life from different angles.
Shakes up our routine. I am a big believer in having a loose routine or structure to our retirement days. We need that. But we can also get complacent with our routines, or dare I say, even get in a rut. Vacations shake us up and awaken our senses again.
I come back with new recipes I want to try. Our recent trip to New Orleans has put us on a quest to make a really good gumbo.
While traveling can be exhausting, it also refreshes and expands my outlook on life. It makes me eager to come home and try out new ideas. So yes, yes we still need vacations when we are retired. However, we really don’t need staycations anymore because, well… we ARE retired.
This week in retirement is a good week to finish the damn Halloween socks… that I started over 2 years ago. And just in time to wear for October. While I have knitted quite a bit in the past, this was my first attempt at knitting socks. They have a “few” mistakes but overall I am satisfied with them. Retirement is a great time to challenge ourselves with some new interests or rekindle some old ones. It gives us a sense of accomplishment and you never know which interest is going to “stick.”
The Coastal Grandma look and vibe has stormed the internet. If you have not heard of it yet, go look it up. Right now. The term Coastal Grandma was coined by Lex Nicoleta, who ironically is not a grandma. Well, I am a grandma and I love the coast, so I must be a Coastal Grandma right? Well apparently not. It is not just a look, but an attitude. An inspirational lifestyle. Think Diane Keaton in Something’s Gotta Give or Meryl Streep in It’s Complicated.
The Coastal Grandma, let’s just call her CG for short, has a simple, elevated, organic, earthy vibe. It goes along with shades of ecru and white, blues, grays and beach grass green. This easy lifestyle calls for natural fibers: linen pants, a chambray shirt, a straw hat, a market basket, cotton slipcovers, sisal rugs, jute, fresh flowers and herbs on the windowsill. It is a natural, textured, comfortable aesthetic.
The Coastal Grandma definitely lives a more relaxed, elevated lifestyle. It is a crisp glass of white wine and a good book. It is cutting hydrangias from the yard to arrange in a bouquet or cutting lavender to gather into bundles and dry. It is taking a wicker basket to meander through the farmer’s market to get fresh green beans and raspberries for dinner.
While the Coastal Grandma lifestyle and look is appealing, I think what really resonates with women is the attitude that the CG portrays. It is the idea of living authentically, without apology, that draws us as much as the look itself. The CG is comfortable in her own skin. She knows who she is and what she likes and is confident enough to express it. She is comfortable graciously saying “no.” It often takes years of living to get to this point. The CG makes time to live life on her terms. She no longer walks into a room and compares herself to other women there, worried about how she levels up. Instead, she walks into a room confident that she is her best version of herself. She is more concerned about connecting with the people and enjoying the experience.
The Trand Setters:
Of course, women of any age can exemplify the Coastal Grandma look and lifestyle, but don’t you love that this term originated from women of retirement age who are living this lifestyle that is setting a trend? It kicks ageism right out the door! This celebrates a lifestyle that we have earned and are living fully at this time in our lives. I believe that the CG exudes a confidence that only years of living can shape. The pointy, rough edges of her personality have mellowed over time to reveal a beautiful patina. I recently read CG described as an emotional place the hurried 2022 woman has arrived at after years of making everyone else’s lives more important. After years of working, raising a family and hurrying, we are ready to slow down and live more intentionally. It is, finally, living fully ourselves and loving it.
How refreshing that retired women were the originators of this lifestyle. And why shouldn’t we be? We have learned over time what we like and how to embrace a lifestyle that nourishes us. We have finally come to accept ourselves. We are not perfect and we are OK with that. Really OK. Maybe, just maybe, having dewy skin, silky hair and cottage cheese free thighs isn’t what it is all about. Let’s be examples to younger women of retired women who are comfortable in our own skin and are living a life that fills our souls.
I adore summer, but I think that fall has to be my favorite season. And what better way to celebrate the first day of fall than with a bike ride by the lake? Bonus that the first day of fall is on a weekday and since we are retired we don’t have to wait until after work or the weekend to enjoy it. Do something that feeds your soul to celebrate the first day of this wonderful new season.