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Catching up on life
I recently realized that it had been about two months since my last post here. While I’ve been OK with the idea of non-scheduled / sporadic writing for quite some time now, I also recognize it’s all too easy to ignore it entirely. Out of sight, out of mind, indeed… But I’ve had a few encounters recently, both online and in person, that have demonstrated to me that there are multiple personal benefits that come from writing, as well as from interacting with others who find value in what I write. And so I thought I’d take a few minutes to share a few recent experiences.
Just yesterday, Lorri and I just returned from a 3-night anniversary trip to a great and somewhat under the radar California State Park just a few hours drive away from our home: Red Rock Canyon. In one respect it was our most recent test of what empty nester life may be like, as our soon-to-be adult / now-teen had work and school obligations and didn’t join us. But it was also a trial run of one of our (many!) ideas for retired life, that being doing trips out of an RV. From both perspectives I think we’d each grade our experience as a success!
While we missed having our son with us, he seemingly did great and I think we both did too. Things certainly will be different in so many ways a year from now when he’s underway with his first semester of college! Having more experience living with that idea is only going to help us, right? The trip itself was also great. Both Lorri and I enjoyed “dry camping” (i.e. no power/water hookups) at the state park. Barring one night it was super quiet, the hiking was great, we kept warm despite the cold and windy nights, and this kind of RV experience was pretty appealing. It’s unclear what the future holds for this kind of travel, but we’re definitely still interested in the idea.
It’s OK to kill dreams, even those long-held
I’ve long held the idea (bordering on obsession at times) that getting my private pilot certification would be super fun. I’m definitely an aviation nerd, I’m passionate about learning new skills, and love to travel. But barring a discovery flight lesson I received as a gift more than ten years ago, I’d never tested these waters. Since retiring more than three years ago, my voracious YouTube appetite has increasingly included a lot of aviation content. In recent months this escalated to the point where I thought I really needed to test out this idea of taking lessons.
I booked a discovery flight lesson with a local instructor about a month ago. It was a great experience - the instructor was knowledgeable, thorough, and friendly. I had lots of instruction on the ground and time in the left seat to get a sense of what it might be like to earn my certificate. And it was 90% great! But that means it was 10% not great. I found I really didn’t enjoy flying at low altitude. My anxiety kicked in pretty strongly when we were yawing in thermals, the normal bounces + bumps during takeoff and landing really bothered my sense of balance, and as a result that 10% was pretty concerning.
But I knew enough not to simply rule it out based on one experience. So I booked a 2nd lesson just a few days later. In the worst case, I’d just drain my “fun money” earned from the tasting room gig a bit more (lessons are pricy), drop the idea, and I’d be otherwise none the worse for it. But in the best case, I’d get over my jitters and keep the dream alive. TL;DR- it was the former. I had essentially the same ratio of fun/anxiety as the first flight. So I didn’t give it much more thought. I still love travel by air, but flying a small plane is not in the cards for me. And I’m OK with it!
Well, to be honest I’ve got lots on my mind as always. I had half of another whole section written and later decided to delete. Of late, most of what’s occupying my grey matter concerns my continuing post-retirement journey of self-discovery and personal improvement. To that end, I’m excited about some Two Sides of FI content coming soon that will provide a great opportunity for me to write about things of importance to me. I look forward to sharing that with you soon! For now I’ll just leave it there as a tease :)
I hope you’re all doing well. Thanks as always for being with me on the journey! I sincerely appreciate each of you. Mahalo 🙏