What is your criteria for choosing your healthcare provider?This is a very important topic for everyone,especially those of us who want to remain healthy in retirement. There are few decisions that one has to make that is more important than who will you trust with your healthcare.

Here are six points to consider when choosing a healthcare provider:

1. Is he currently licensed in the state or country in which you need services? In the United States,each practitioner whether doctor, nurse, therapist,or other discipline is required to pass a state license exam in order to practice. In addition, there are mandatory continuing education requirements in order to maintain a license. In some states one can find out about the status of a practitioner by contacting the Department of Health in that state.Note that outside of the United States the requirements may differ,and each country may have similar or differing requirements.

2. Has the individual been recommended by someone that you know and trust? Having the opportunity to speak with someone who is satisfied with the quality and level of services they received is priceless.Be sure to ask specific questions about the reasons that they believe that the practitioner gives good service.

3.Is the provider a member of your health insurance plan? This is a key issue because using a provider outside of your insurance network could cost you more money since the services may not be covered.

4. Is he affiliated with a hospital that you prefer? Another consideration is whether the hospital is part of your insurance network.

5 Is the healthcare provider taking new patients? Some physicians close their panel to new patients for various reasons.

6. Is transportation provided should you need this service? There might be a time when you are not able (for whatever reason) to provide your own transportation.


A phone call to the doctor or other healthcare provider’s office prior to the first visit is recommended. Be sure to ask the following questions:

a.Is there a fee for visits that are not cancelled by a certain time for example 24 hours prior to the visit?

b. Who covers for the provider after hours,or on holidays?

c. Is the provider in a group practice, and if so are you able to see the same person at each visit?

d. Does the provider have experience in working with patients with your condition? If you have a complicated medical history, it is important to ensure that the provider has experience in this area.

e. Is he Board Certified? Some physicians are Board eligible but not certified. My preference is with a physician who is Board certified.

f. Where was the provider trained? I like to personally ask the provider this question. It helps to build rapport and to get to know him as a person.

g. Is there a fee that you pay at the time of the visit?. It is best to find this out from your insurance carrier.


These points are my personal recommendations.You may have your own list, however, I have found that these have served me well in finding and staying with my healthcare providers for twelve or more years:

1. Is he interested in you as a person? I prefer not to just be a name to my providers.I appreciate it when they call me by my name,and have some knowledge of my lifestyle.This is important because this knowledge will influence their recommendations regarding a proposed treatment plan.

2 Is he always in a hurry, or does he take the time to sit down (even for a few minutes) during or at the end of the visit.This gives me the opportunity to ask questions to ensure that I understand what is being recommended. I like to have my questions written down before the visit.Many of us tend to totally forget what we want to say to our doctors unless we have it on paper. These days I put my questions in my phone which is more convenient for me.

3. Does he encourage me to ask questions about my health care? Does he explain his responses in an easy to understand way? Though I am a nurse, I still expect answers that are easily understood.

4. Is he respectful and a good listener? This point goes without saying.


Today, I went to a medical appointment with one of my doctors. I have been with this doctor for about 12 years.The reasons that I have remained with him are numerous.First of all, he is an excellent clinician. He is well respected by his peers, and others in the community. Each time that I visit his office, I feel that he is truly concerned about my welfare. His wife is a Nurse Practitioner and she is also very qualified. They both have a caring attitude.

I truly appreciate the fact that he asks me questions about my lifestyle. He knows about my family, and major events in my life. Both he and his wife give me the impression that they want the best for me at all times. He is never in a hurry,even though he has a very busy practice. He is very thorough in his examinations. He will sit down and address any concerns that I may have at every visit.

I hope that you have healthcare providers that will give you the highest quality of service that you deserve. For many of us retirement brings more medical issues that need to be addressed.It is imperative that we have the right information to choose the most qualified practitioner that will help us to have a healthy retirement.

Do you have comments about your own experiences in choosing a healthcare provider? I would love to hear them.


Remembering My Eastern Caribbean Vacation.

Ocean view

November 15, 2013 is a day that I will long remember. This was the day that I really felt that I was retired! My cousin Betty and I armed with cameras, suitcases, and various and sundry items boarded the ship Victory bound for the Eastern Caribbean. This was only my second cruise, but for Betty it was her very first.

I was excited to be cruising again, this time as an officially retired person. After all, that was what I told myself I would be doing every chance that I got the moment I retired! I had been planning for this day seemly forever and at last the day had arrived. My cousin Betty was apprehensive, and totally scared as we stood on the deck and watched the shoreline slowly moving away.

I am fascinated by the ocean. I have always lived close to oceans, lakes, and other bodies of water though I must confess a secret- I cannot swim! My two children have heard me say year after year since they were growing up, that I am going to lean to swim “this year”. Of course I am still making that statement though another year has come and gone!

I must say that cruising is in my mind one of the best ways to see the world, and to enjoy God’s creation. I encourage every retiree to make plans to cruise as soon as possible. As a nurse,I have even had fleeting moments wishing that I could work on board a cruise ship. I did not make this a reality however, because I am sure that I would miss my family and friends since I would be gone for months at a time.

As the ship moved slowly away from the dock, the feeling of peace that came over me was indescribable! The first day at sea was glorious. Lots of sun, blue skies, and an ocean so calm, peaceful, and tranquil. As we relaxed out on deck and felt the warm rays of the sun, and the gentle swaying of the ship, I felt that all of my troubles were miles away.

One of the highlights of cruising is of course the food! Every imaginable kind of food is served almost 24 hours per day. The “Lido deck” had an extensive buffet with an international array of cuisines vying for my attention. All the things that I had been staying away from – pies, cakes, cookies, seemed to be calling me- begging me to go all out and just splurge!! I must tell you that I had to remind myself of the promises I had made to myself before coming on board- that I would not throw caution to the wind- at least not on the first day! My cousin and I ate sumptuously in one the elaborately decorated dining rooms on board. The service was impeccable, and the choices were too numerous to describe. This was the life!

Our first port of call was Grand Turk (Turks and Caicos Islands). The people were friendly, and the weather was sweltering hot. As we toured the area through narrow and bumpy roads, I realized that this was a beautiful island which had some buildings that were in much need of repairs. Our tour guide kept us laughing when he said that the bumpy roads were nothing but a massage that we were getting! There were several donkeys that are allowed to roam freely on the island. I learned that at one time salt was a commodity that was exported, and the donkeys pulled carts of salt to the ships waiting at the port. Children are allowed to ride them, and lasso them for entertainment. I was happy to purchase a beautifully hand crafted bag to remind me of my trip to this beautiful island.

The next day, the ship docked at a private island owned by the cruise line. As I looked out of my port hole, I was somewhat puzzled as to how we would get from the ship to the island, because our ship was docked so far away from the land. I found out later that we would be taxied from the ship to the island in small, open, glass bottomed boats. Each boat carried approximately 200 passengers. I said a prayer as I climbed from our huge ship, across a swaying “gangplank” unto this smaller boat. We were on an adventure!

We arrived at the island within ten minutes. I could see our ship looming far away in the distance. As we arrived on the island, we were greeted by staff from the ship who had been transported to the island earlier that morning. They had made preparations for our arrival. The island was beautifully arranged with tropical foliage, and all of the amenities of a lush secluded paradise! There was a beach with white sand, and many passengers already horseback riding, swimming, or snorkeling. Of course there was a bountiful feast prepared for our enjoyment-all you can eat barbecued ribs, chicken, hamburgers, and hot dogs, and many other delights.

I felt content as I took off my sandals and walked in the warm, turquoise water. At the end of the day, we made our way back to the swaying boat, and made an even more nerve racking trip back to the ship. I again prayed fervently as we waited for our turn to climb back on to the swaying “gangplank” and very gladly made it safely back on board our ship.

My cousin and I were eagerly anticipating the next port of call which was Nassau. I had great plans in mind to visit Atlantis! I had seen so many reports about this famous place. If you visit Nassau, this is a must see! Before we could get to Nassau and Atlantis however, we had to travel through some rough seas. Our ship was rocking and swaying all night! We were in the middle of really rough weather. I said my prayers that night, got into my bed, and tried to sleep, all the while believing in God’s keeping care as we rocked from side to side. Thankfully, things became calm just about 2:00 am.

I was really delighted when I was able to disembark in Nassau. I was thrilled to look at the turquoise water on either side as I walked from the ship to the dock. There was a buzz of activity as we tried to locate suitable transportation to take us to Atlantis which is located on Paradise Island, which was not very far from the dock. There were so many taxi drivers, tour guides, and passengers all speaking as loudly as possible! I had received strict instructions from my son before we left home about where to go, what to see, and what to avoid!

Finally, we made it to Atlantis! It looked just as I had imagined. We made our way through underground tunnels with numerous exotic fish, huge sharks, and beautiful flora and fauna. This is a depiction of the reportedly lost city of Atlantis that is submerged beneath the sea many moons ago. This lost civilization was reported as having sophisticated communication, and even space like travel capabilities. Very interesting! As we roamed around the exhibits with the help of our travel guide, Mary, it was clear to me that this was a place that I would recommend to my family and friends.

I was very daring as I suggested to my cousin that we should cross the swaying rope bridge that crossed over a lake filled with alligators! It was quite an adventure as we held on to the ropes as the bridge moved from side to side. I was very thankful when we made it over safely. I am not sure that I would do this again!

That afternoon we took a taxi to a local restaurant called Fish Fry. We ate fresh conch sandwiches, and other local delicacies. Our taxi trip back to the ship was memorable. I really got a glimpse of how the people live in Nassau as we able to go through the very busy downtown, and some residential areas. The people were friendly and warm. Of course, tourism is big in Nassau, so there were many shops with local made clothing, trinkets and other items. Quite a shopping mecca!

As we made our way back to the ship, a lady from the Nassau tourist board interviewed me about my stay on the island. She wanted to know what I thought about the friendliness of the people, also where I ate, and what I bought. I was happy to give her a positive report, and I promised to return someday soon.

Have you ever traveled to Atlantis? I would love to hear about your most memorable vacation.


Don’t ignore a pain in your neck!

Hello all:

For the last few years I have had a pain in my neck and right shoulder that has gotten progressively worse. I initially ignored it and I was able to make it through each day with minor consequences. However, during the last year this discomfort increased.When I was in the work world, I spent about half of each day at a computer. Even though, (as a Nursing Administrator), I had secretarial support to complete complex documents,I still preferred to compose my own memos, letters, or other documents on the computer. This was a time saver for me.

As time went by the discomfort in my neck could no longer be ignored. I finally went to my MD. He gave me cortisone injections in the neck which was helpful for a few weeks. When I returned to him with further complaints, he ordered an MRI.The results showed that I had a herniated disc in my neck.I was very surprised.How did this happen, I wondered?

I am bringing this to your attention, because a physical problem that is not treated can cause anyone ( especially a retiree) to suffer needlessly.How many times have we ignored health problems, and just failed to face the truth of the matter? I really got serious about getting a solution to my problem when the pain, headaches, and discomfort increased.

So here I am, months later attending Physical Therapy sessions twice weekly. If you have never had Physical Therapy, let me say that it is very effective in the long run, but painful in the short term. Therapists are trained to ensure that we stretch, and move when we do not want to. They give us seemingly simple exercises that with repetition are oh, so painful!

I am a firm believer in Physical Therapy, however. The pain is worthwhile- no pain no gain? I have had great results in the past for other conditions. There are some immediate benefits too. At the end of each session, warm, or sometimes cold compresses are applied to the injured part. Depending on the injury, a massage could even be included! Needless to say that this can be very relaxing.

I encourage all of us as we approach retirement, and at subsequent times,to follow up on our health issues.Ignorance is not bliss! There are many modalities and treatments that can help us to enjoy a healthy retirement.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject? Please leave me your comments.


Hello again:

I like to be thankful to God for my blessings.One blessing that I am really thankful for is my family.What a joy it is to spend quality time with my children and grand children!This past Monday was a holiday (Labor day),and I had the chance to spend several hours with my son, my daughter, and their two children. I was glad that my son in law was also there.

We had a fun day on board one of the ships at the port before it sailed out to sea.We had special permission that allowed us to tour the ship, have all you can eat of the delicious food, and to relax to our hearts content! Of course we had to go through a strict security process before we could enter the ship, but once on board we were glad to enjoy all of the amenities.

There were hundreds of vacationers making their way on board for their cruise to the Caribbean.So much hustle and bustle! I was ready to take a cruise myself, but I realized that I had to plan that for another day.Touring the ship with family was such a joy that it did not matter so much that we had to leave the ship at the end of the 4 hour tour.

To my grand sons ( 1 year and 4 years old), the highlight of the tour was the time that they spent in the children’s area. They enjoyed the freedom of running, jumping, and anything else that they wanted to do among the kid friendly furniture. There were colorful balls, brightly colored toys,numerous books, puzzles and games.There was also outdoor space designed just for the little ones. They could play hide and seek, go down the slides as fast as they could, or any other fun thing that they liked.They had so much fun that it was hard for the grownups to get them to leave!

What can I say about the food! Delicious, scrumptious, mouth watering…We delighted in the rich variety of food.Specialty hamburgers,chicken served numerous ways, pies, cookies, cakes, ice cream. The list seemed endless! It was so difficult to choose. I decided that I would throw caution to the wind and forget my diet for that day. I can only say that I enjoyed every bite!

Looking back,I can truly say that having a family, and being able to share this time with them is one of the joys of my retirement.

I would love to get your comments, and how you share your time with family and friends.


One Year Retirement Anniversary!

Hello all:

I am celebrating the end of my first year in retirement. What a year it has been! After forty plus years of working, I am now living a new lifestyle. I am no longer rushing out each morning to head into bumper to bumper traffic, and a long commute to work, instead I am making my own schedule each day. My time is now my own. What an awesome feeling!

I am truly glad to be a retiree, with the ability to move about on my own,and with the basic blessings of life. As a nurse,I was able to serve both children and adults who were in need due to their loss of health and sometimes lack of finances.I am really glad to have chosen this pathway. I can say without any reservation, that I have learned so much from those that I served.

Where has the time gone? I can recall when I was five years away from retirement. It seemed that the day would never come when I could retire. However, time has a way of marching on. It waits for no man, as the saying goes. I have accomplished some of my first year retirement goals, but not all. I was blessed to travel, however, not as often as I would have liked. One of my accomplishments was writing this blog.I had this on my TO DO list, so I am glad it is moving along.

Having more time to spend with my family is also a big plus. I am enjoying my grandchildren tremendously! What a joy to have them.I can also be supportive of my children by babysitting more often, or by helping them with other projects. I am also able to devote more time to church activities and committees. This is very rewarding.

Another good things about retirement is not needing to spend as much money on clothing and shoes. I find that I tend to wear more casual clothes these days, except for clothes that I wear to church or on special occasions. I must admit that sometimes I miss “clothes” shopping, especially to get the bargains, since I am a bargain shopper.

My first year of retirement has also included learning more about various topics especially the computer. If you read some of my previous blogs, I told you about taking classes in Excel, PowerPoint, and other computer programs. I found these classes to be very stimulating! I hope to continue to learn new information, and to try new things to keep my mind alert. I have even relearned crocheting.This was a skill that I had many years ago but I did not seem to have the time to keep up with it. An example of this is the blanket that I started for my daughter before she was born.It is still not finished! My daughter is now 32 years old!

There are many other areas that I am hoping to explore in the coming months. I am also hoping that you will come along with me on this retirement journey. Don’t forget to share your thoughts and ideas with me about your retirement goals. We are in this together.


Healthy Eating in Retirement.

Hello all:

If you are like me, you are always conscious of what you eat.For an unknown reason, some of us cannot just eat what we want, whenever we want to! I often say that life is not fair. I have friends that can eat just about anything, at what ever time of day or night, and not gain a pound! Call it genes, or whatever. It just does not seem right!

Well,I have come to terms with this phenomenon.There is just no getting away from it. Eating right is a lifelong journey that takes us even into retirement.Let me say briefly, that at one time I weighed 280 pounds.As a child and for most of my adult life I could be described as obese! I struggled with trying to lose weight. Children can be cruel, and I learned this by being called fatso, fattie or other cruel names. I can recall many stories from those days which I am happy to say, although painful, did not prevent me from future successes.I am also happy to say that some years ago I lost 115 pounds! I have been blessed to have kept all but 15 of those pounds off. In recent months I lost 9 of the 15 so I am now about six pounds away from my goal.

Losing that much weight was quite an accomplishment for me. You may ask me how did I do it? It was a combination of things, the most important of which was that my prayers to God were answered. I learned to love the right kinds of food, and to not be a slave to others.

Now that I am retired, I find that I still need to be aware of what I eat each day.I basically eat lean meat, fish, vegetables and fruit.I do splurge on occasion, and then need to do penance by following a more strict eating plan for awhile.I accept the fact that eating right is a life long journey for me.

One fact that I learned after losing 115 pounds, is that the body makes every effort to hold on to each and every pound. After losing a lot of weight, it becomes very difficult to lose just a few pounds. The chemistry of the body tends to hold on to the last few pounds at all cost. I must admit that sometimes I get discouraged by the slow weight loss, but then I get re-energized when I lose even one pound.

Exercise is so important for overall health, and also to lose weight.I have now committed myself to working out at least three or more times per week.

In addition, I try to eat most of my meals at home each day. Since I can follow my own schedule, I plan my trips outside of my home either before or after lunch.I generally eat a restaurant meal an average of once per week. I find that this not only saves me money, but also helps me to eat right. Most restaurant food I find, is loaded with hidden calories. I can control the amount of salt, fat, and other ingredients when I make my own meals. I do however, like to eat in a restaurant so I choose those that offer me choices of lean meat, fish, vegetables, and even fruit. I try to check out the menu before I go to each restaurant so that I can be prepared.

When I travel, I have more of a challenge in finding just what I need to eat on my plan. I try to think ahead, and to plan what I will or will not eat.Of course there is temptation all around! There are cakes, pies, cookies, (and other foods that I love but must limit) just about everywhere! Most people will say to me, ” one cookie will not hurt”. I agree, but that is not the issue. The issue is that it is not always easy to eat just one!
On most occasions I have learned to decline gracefully, but ever so often I throw caution to the wind, and eat whatever forbidden food is being offered!

A well known fact to consider as we age is the fact that it is just harder to keep the pounds off! Without the hustle and bustle of going out to a job each day, I find that I need to keep busy to keep the pounds from creeping back on. I try to have something meaningful to accomplish each day. I must say that writing these posts are a great way for me to keep my mind busy and away from food.I also try to get out of my home daily as much as is possible. I am very active with committee work in my church, and with my grand children. In addition, I am taking several classes, and I also go to the gym several times weekly. A full schedule keeps me away from temptation!

I would love to hear from you as to whether you have the same challenges that I have. Please share your comments, so that we can support each other as we go through our retirement journey.


Letting go!

Hello again,

I heard a discussion recently that peaked my interest. This was a program on the radio, and callers were asked to share their experiences with letting go of personal items. One woman had a vase that she had made as a child more than fifty years ago. She admitted that it looked awful, but she found it difficult to get rid of it.She had moved several times across the United States but had kept this memorable item for unknown reasons.

Do you have trouble letting go of certain items also? I have a few that I have kept for sentimental reasons.I kept letters that my father wrote to me when I moved away from home. These are very special to me now that he is passed on. He was a prolific writer!He wrote letters to many individuals around the world. His letters are special for many reasons including the fact that it is now almost unheard of to write a letter.I like to ask young people ( 35 years old and below) whether they have ever written or received a handwritten letter. Without exception they give me a blank look when I ask about letters that are actually written by hand.Without exception they say they have never written a letter or received one that was handwritten.Most people today would prefer to send an e mail than to write a letter. Even cards are now “e” cards sent by the Internet! I must also admit that now that I am retired, I am now in the group that sends most communication by the Internet!

Not only do I hold on to letters from my Dad, I also hold unto gifts that I received many years ago. As I write this, I am looking at a small fan that someone gave to me over 20 years ago.It is trimmed with purple lace, and has a beautiful bow.It is prominently displayed on my dressing table.It was given to me by a woman named Cynthia.I was her supervisor a long time ago.This fan reminds me of the respect that was shown to me by Cynthia. She was a hard worker, and also a positive person. I lost track of her over 20 years ago, but this gift that she gave to me is still precious.She probably did not spend much to buy it, but it still means a lot to me.I even took it with me when I moved across the US, as the woman that I mentioned earlier. I kept that fan hanging on my wall at my former job for all of those years. Every time I had a new office, this fan was part of my new decor.When I retired I packed it carefully and brought it home with me. I am sure that the Cynthia would be amazed to know that I held unto it for all these years!

It is no surprise then that I kept all the cards that my children gave me over the years.Some were given to me for birthdays, while some were given to me on Mother’s Day or other occasions.These are very special.I can recall the time when my children were too small to give me any cards. Now that they do, I want to hold unto them, and to not let them go! I also received some memorable cards at my retirement parties.These cards will remind me of my former life in the work world. I wouldn’t part with them for any thing!

Why do we hold on to certain things? Is it to remember a special someone, or to recall a special time in our lives? Are we trying to hold on to the past, or to keep pleasant thoughts in our minds? Do you also hold on to special items from the past? Please share your thoughts with me.


A visit to the dentist ( no surprises)!

Hello again,

The question today is- ” Why does one wait to visit the dentist?” Sometimes it is because of fear, lack of finances, or just lack of knowledge. We might not realize that dental health is very important. In my case, the reason that I did not visit the dentist at least twice per year was not because I lacked the knowledge, or the finances.I had pretty good dental coverage while I was working, and did visit the dentist from time to time, however, not as often as I should have. I can admit to misplaced priorities- just too busy to make that visit.

Now that I am retired, I am determined to visit my dentist as often as is needed. Well, I made a visit one day last week, and it was just as I had expected. The dentist told me what I already knew, that I had 2 cavities, and needed a deep cleaning- no surprises! What was a surprise was that she said that previous fillings from about forty years ago, were now needing replacement. This is a big deal! She described the need for crowns so that the teeth will not be lost ie needing a root canal to save them.Thank God for modern technology,because it will all be painless! At least that is my belief based on past experiences.

I am telling you this because I hope my retired audience will follow my lead and schedule a dental visit ASAP!Medical science now tells us that the health of our teeth affects our overall health and well being. If we want a healthy retirement we need to fix what needs fixing now rather than later. More about the dentist later!

Exercise in Retirement

Hello all,

Today I attended my first exercise class in many years! I have been going to the gym now for over six months, but did not decide to take a class until today. I have been using the bicycle, treadmill, and other machines but just did not want to take a class. I must confess that I hesitated to take one before this time, because I thought the instructor would be going at such a fast pace that I would not be able to keep up!

When I learned that this class was designed for seniors I breathed a sigh of relief!I was more hopeful that it would be just right for me. When I arrived at the gym, there was a long line of seniors waiting to enter the room.Everyone had a bag with them, while I had my towel, water and my cell phone in my hand! I wondered why they had such large bags.I asked the person next to me for the reason that each person had a bag. She explained that I needed a jump rope, ball, dumbbells and a chair. She said these items are all provided but ” they never have enough for everyone”, so she brought her own except the chair, of course.

When we entered the room, I noticed that most people made a bee line for the back of the room! I decided to speak to the instructor and to introduce myself as a new student.I wanted her to know that with a new student she needed to slow things down so that I could keep up with her.Of course I did not tell her, but I was hoping just the same. She gave me a warm welcome and told me to follow everyone else. ” Get the same equipment that they have” she said, and pointed to several boxes to the left side of the room.I dutifully did as she said and picked up dumbbells, a chair, a ball and a jump rope.

The music began to play and the instructor began to move as did everyone in the room. I joined in, and soon realized that the pace was moderate but still taxing. “You can do this I told myself” as the tempo of the music increased. About 30 minutes into the routine, she asked us to pick up our dumbbells.I picked up mine, and noted how heavy they were! When I looked around the room, most people had little dumbbells that probably weighed half a pound.I looked at mine and realized that I had picked up the largest size! How was I to know that we could pick a smaller size. I decided that no matter what, I was not going to change to what some people had ie half pound size that resembled a dog bone!I was confident that I could manage 10 pounds on my first day! I actually did just fine, but I was also glad when we moved to the next routine- follow the leader.

The instructor began moving around the room, and we followed behind clapping, marching,swaying, and contorting to the music.It was quite a workout! At the one hour mark,we did cool down exercises, and the class ended. I really enjoyed this exercise session. It was quite exhilarating! I knew that I was feeling the effects of Endorphins- those feel good, God given hormones, that were responsible for the great way that I felt.I am certainly looking forward to the next class! I highly recommend these classes to any retiree.

Finally ….My own Schedule!

I have been thinking just how different my life is in retirement as opposed to when I was in the work world.The difference is, that I now make my own schedule! How great is that! In my previous life (that is in the work world),my schedule was very hectic. Meetings just about every day, preparing for meetings, or making sure others were prepared for upcoming meetings. While I loved my job as an administrator in the health care field, it was usually fast paced. Sometimes there was hardly room on my calendar to squeeze in one more meeting!

While I do miss the hustle and bustle on occasion, I do not miss the long meetings that I sometimes had to attend.When I chaired meetings, my goal was to keep them no more than an hour to an hour and a half in length. Most times I was able to arrange the agenda to stick to this rule, however, sometimes I could not.I was always aware that after an hour or so it was difficult for individuals to stay focused, especially when they were hungry!

Today, as I look at my life I can see the contrast from then to now. For example, I decided to have a leisurely breakfast this morning, and to drive to the local Public Library to write this Blog. Of course I had many other options- writing it at home,or doing other things.It is surprising that there is so much to do as a retiree!

Yesterday morning I went to the gym for about an hour. I felt quite pleased that I had made the effort to go. Sometimes I just don’t have the desire! It was a good experience working out and trying new equipment.You may not be like me, but I am somewhat hesitant to try machines that I have not used before.I guess I don’t want to make a fool of myself if I do it the wrong way! I was bold yesterday after I told myself that the fifty or so people there were only focused on themselves, and did not care whether I made a mess or not!

I really felt like an expert when another woman who was trying to figure out how to work the machine next to mine, asked for my help! I was very quick to give her some advice about adjusting the bicycle that she wanted to use. She took my advice which worked!

Last evening I went to the main library to attend an Excel class. This was something I had wanted to do before but just did not seem to have the time or the energy. This was the fourth class in the series. It is quite an experience to be taking computer classes with people half my age. Some of them are the same age as my own children! I am sure you know that the younger generation have computer skills built into their DNA! How else could they understand everything about computers so well. I was able to follow along fine for the previous classes. I did pretty well yesterday until the last 15 minutes of the class. All those charts and numbers! Some of the students asked the teacher to repeat some of the steps that we were missing. She advised us quite sternly, that she was not repeating because some of us were talking, and not paying attention. Reminded me of my elementary school days.I will have to review the work book to catch up. So glad there was no test!

I know that it is so important for retirees to be active in order to remain healthy in body and mind.I made a conscious decision that my previous job did not define who I am as a person. I know that my life consists of more than going to a job day to day.That is the reason that I have decided that it is important for me to be in control of my own schedule each day. I have the wonderful opportunity to do all the things that I longed to do when I was working and had limited time. What an opportunity!