Sunday, September 26, 2021

101 New Things Update for September

 It's time for a quick update on my quest to do 101 new things this year. As of the last update, in May,  I was up to 42 things. I have not added a lot since then but here are the new additions:

43.  Pompeii exhibit at the Houston Museum
44. Shop The Strand in Galveston, TX
45. Crave Cupcakes in Houston (out of this world good!)
46. Click's Steakhouse in Pawnee, OK (best steak I have ever had!)
47. Pawnee Bill Ranch and Museum- Pawnee, OK
48. Black Rifle Coffee Company
49. Dance on cruise ship in front of a crowd in a contest
50. Visit Merida Mexico
51. Visit Houston Space Center NASA
52. Pulled medical drain out of my wife 
53. Grew a beard 

The Pompeii exhibit was awesome and I highly recommend it if it comes to your city. It was amazing to see items that were recovered buried under the ash a long, long time ago. The story was fascinating and made me add a visit to Pompeii to my bucket list.

The Pawnee Bill Ranch and Museum was a nice little gem located in north Oklahoma. Pawnee Bill ran a Wild West Show and even partnered with Buffalo Bill for awhile. Very interesting place to visit.

The "Grew a beard" was just done on a whim as I have never gone more than 2-3 days without shaving for my entire 56 years. I did have a mustache in the late 80's and early 90's but that was it. I never had a beard. I'm not a fan of this scruffy gray beard of mine and it came off at the 3 week mark. But hey, it's a new thing that I have never done!

My quest will continue, although it is looking like I won't make 101 unless I get really busy the next few months. It is still fun looking for something new and interesting to make the list. We are off to Houston for months of treatment for my wife and I plan on doing a few things down there such as visit the Battleship Texas that was recently refurbished. I'm sure I can find a few more new things in that area. And......I still have that can of sardines in the pantry I could pack for the trip!

Any of you out there tried something new and interesting lately?

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Bucket List

The movie The Bucket List was a great one. It is described on Google as this:  

Corporate billionaire Edward Cole and working class mechanic Carter Chambers have nothing in common except for their terminal illnesses. While sharing a hospital room together, they decide to leave it and do all the things they have ever wanted to do before they die according to their bucket list. In the process, both of them heal each other, become unlikely friends, and ultimately find joy in life.

It was an awesome movie with a great message to get out there and enjoy life. I have a list of places I'd like to visit and things I'd like to do. I guess you can call it a Bucket List, but there is nothing on it that I absolutely must see in this lifetime. It is more of I'd Like to See These Things If I Can list. It has the typical places like The Great Wall of China, Venice, Machu Picchu, etc. There are a couple things that might not be on the everyday common bucket list, such as Pompeii and the Terra Cota soldiers in China. So many bucket list places can be seen pretty well on the internet these days, although everything is better in person. The experience of doing is a lot better than seeing on a screen for sure. 

Some bucket lists contain things like skydiving, bungee jumping, climbing all the fourteeners, etc. My list definitely does not include risking death to climb Mt. Everest. In retirement, my list is more of a sightseeing tour! 

One thing I'd like to see in the near future may not be on a lot of bucket lists. I'd love to go see a rocket launch in person. I think the sights, sounds and feel of a launch would be awesome. With the current commercial space industry taking off, there are more launches now than I can ever remember. When you research upcoming launches, the list usually contains at least one a month, if not several a month. 

I think a bucket list helps one have a goal to shoot for and something to look forward to. I have read that just planning a trip makes a person feel good and that the anticipation of taking the trip keeps us excited and happy. You can experience this joy in your local city or state, you don't have to travel across the world to get that great feeling. With my quest to do 101 new things this year, I have found great joy in doing many little things. Doing small new things is like taking a mini vacation. You get a quick energy boost and a quick happiness boost for enjoying a small experience.

Do you have any unique places to see or things to do on your bucket list? Some thing that is out of ordinary and not your typical "See the Eiffel Tower"? Everyone probably wants to see the Pyramids or ride in a gondola in Venice, but does everyone want to see a rocket launch? Comment with your unique items and maybe I will get to add a few new items to my own list!

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Charity Work and Volunteering

Before I retired 2+ years ago I read many articles on retirement and retirement happiness. A lot of articles focused on money and different strategies of saving and spending in retirement. Many articles on health and well being. Many articles on where to live. And, many articles on filling your time with activities, including volunteering or charity work. I thought the idea of volunteering sounded appealing at the time and thought I would start doing something like that soon after retirement began. Well, here I am 2+ years in and I haven't done any volunteer work at all. Since retirement, I seem to be pretty busy even if I'm busy doing nothing at all. I did leave my name and phone number at one charity thrift store because they had a sign up that said they were in need of volunteers. I said I could shelve items and test electronics. Sounded like it would be a job that I would enjoy. I never heard anything back and I'm not sure the kid I gave my info to really passed it on the the manager or not. I've shopped in that thrift store many times since, but didn't inquire or follow up on volunteer work.

I have seen on several blogs and in several articles that retirees can get overwhelmed with volunteering some times because once you do one thing, many other people and places begin to come to you for your help. I guess once you get started it sometimes is hard to say "no". 

I still think I need to give back some of my time and skills somewhere, I'm just not sure where. I guess once I got on a schedule and knew every Wednesday from 1-3pm was my time, I would get used to it.

There are food banks, homeless shelters, charity thrift stores, charity 5Ks, etc that probably need volunteers on a regular basis. In the past my wife and I have served food at a local homeless shelter. It made me think of how lucky and blessed I was every time I did it. So, I agree with the theory that giving is good for the soul. I just need to get myself motivated.

With the world still in a pandemic, is even safe to be out volunteering? I'm vaccinated, so I feel pretty good about being out, but I'm still cautious and awaiting a booster to come out to make me even more confident about getting out. 

Do you volunteer anywhere and if so how is it going? What are other ways a retiree could help others? Have you found yourself like me with good intentions but little or zero follow through? Are you one of those that has done too much volunteering? 

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Gandhi

“Every person can make a difference, and every person should try.” – John F. Kennedy