To the young woman working the food truck who deliberately wore a low cut top, knowing she would have to lean over constantly to talk to customers... I would love for her to believe one day that cleavage will only get you so far. That having depth of character and is far more alluring, attractive and sexy than a temporary carnal fix. That leaving something to mystery is a more powerful aphrodisiac then letting everything hang out.
Along the same lines, great to see current actresses like Gal Gadot, Alicia Vikander be and portray intelligent, strong women on and off the screen, without the need to bare it all to attract attention. They continue the lineage of other talented actresses like Rachel McAdams and Natalie Portman.
Current "retirement" definition for D involves another 4 years and change worth of full time work. Afterwards, transitioning to 6 month contracts with the rest of the year off. He foresees ample time to pursue his burgeoning bikepacking interest as well as having the funds to go on some pretty cool expeditions around the world. If this plan works for him, this will be his definition of "retirement". He is looking forward to the time where he has the option of spending all of his net take home pay. His plan is golden as long as his back stays stable and strong.
Now that he is fairly comfortable in his new role at work (almost exactly the one he was offered out west, minus the travel, when we went through the relocation exercise a couple of years back), I can see his energy, sense of humour and enthusiasm come back. He tells me that the work load and stress level is far far less than before. So much so, we are open to starting our art classes again this fall -- Something we've both missed.
I've been living my version of "retirement" life for a few years now. It's going well, with some small fine tuning of my office procedures each year. Sure I do get those days where I want to totally pack it in, but those are caused more from my extra curricular activities than work itself. When I get tired, I tend to want to retreat from everything.
By far my biggest challenges in recent years has come from the type of travelling I do. My mind signs up for things that my body doesn't always recover quickly from. The disaster relief placement in Asia (mental/emotional) and visit to Uganda (physical) were the toughest on my system. It took months for me to feel like myself again. I thought I had things spaced out well this year but completely underestimated the amount of recovery time. Know to do things differently now.
Something good has come out of those challenges though. When I was in Rio, and was surrounded by the many noises and sounds that go with living in a favela, I slept like a baby the entire week. Without the need of ear plugs (impossible in Uganda) despite lack of sound insulation and music being played from 4:30 pm through to 6:30 am from Thursdays onwards. Would never have guessed that my time there would help me catch up so much.
When I am ready to fully stop working, we envision a 2 home solution whereby we spend most of our year out west while summer and fall would be spent at our cottage with a cross country drive in between. We are not sure if it will work and for how long. Selling the main house will free up some dollars that will get socked away in investments. The running costs of the other 2 places are quite minimal. It's the driving that I'm not sure of. The intention is to camp along the way, with no rush. I know of a couple who drove down to Texas to spend 4 months each year and continued to do so until their early 70's. Maybe we'll have what it takes too.
The reasoning for the above is to be able to take advantage of the best that the 2 provinces have to offer. The west may have mountains but it doesn't have the scope of fresh water that Ontario has. If this 2 home arrangement doesn't work, then we will pull out of Ontario for good and upgrade our place out west. There is a chance we might just do that anyways. An extra 100K spent will buy the bigger space we'd want.
Both of our living size requirements have changed in the last couple of years. For me, spurred on by travel experiences existing with less and less and for D, his fascination with tiny homes and bikepacking. Travel at that point in our lives will involve fewer flights and longer stays, which will be quite a bit less pricey than my yearly travel budget. And with both of us willingly continuing to work part time will mean no touching of principal but know it is there to work for us when we are ready. However illogical it may be, neither of us (mainly me) are ready to place financial limits on dreams, old, current or undiscovered.
I've toyed with the idea of using next year to re-visit favourite places instead of diving in head first to mostly new locales. It's tough to fight against yourself and your leanings. Can you believe that I have no actual purchased flights for 2017 yet? There are 2 points flights booked ages ago on the schedule that can be removed anytime.
My annual travel doctor appointment is in 3 months and I usually show up with a list of places for the following year so we can discuss medical needs. If I continue on my current course, there will be nothing new to add to my current medical kit outside of updating my typhoid shot. That's not a negative thing. An "easy" travel year for me can still be seen as a heavy one for many others.
I have one last challenge slated for the end of the year to prepare for. As counter-intuitive as it may sound, I've actually added 2 more things to my schedule to help me reach that goal with less stress. It isn't my way to ask for help often so I see this move as a sign of maturity. Fear does motivate!
I bought a new laptop -- My old one is still functioning but has started to get really hot and that got me concerned it is close to burning itself out soon. Welcome to the family my Asus Zenbook. Impressed so far with how light and silent it is. Jury is still out on Windows 10...
I cannot end this post without a comment on the horrors that have occurred around the world recently, affecting a number of beloved countries. Understanding how spreading terror works wasn't really what I expected my brain to want to sense out.
The owners of the various apartments we have rented in Istanbul, Nice, Munich and their loved ones were not directly affected. Understandably they are feeling shock and outrage but all are determined to continue to live their lives freely and not to let that seed of disruption grow and overtake their minds and lives.