G is for Goals – Preparing for a Badass Retirement #AtoZChallenge

G si for Goals, Baby!

I’m a goal setter. You might have guessed that by now if you read ye olde blogge regularly. I don’t see me setting less goals once I retire. In fact, I see even more of this happening.

I come by this naturally.

My mother was forever learning new things and setting goals for herself.

Mom had a bad back and went through several surgeries in her 30s and 40s. In her early 50s she was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease and told she’d be in a wheelchair within 5 years. Once the doctor told her she couldn’t injure her back any further (so she might as well do whatever she wanted), Mom trained for and obtained her lifeguard certification (at age 54) and started teaching aqua aerobics. This led to her eventually supervising the pool full-time at a local seniors’ facility. When my dad died suddenly, her back flared up again and she had to leave that job.

Still not in a wheelchair, she started working at my (then) workplace, in a support role. Then her cancer diagnosis put her into an actual retirement.

Even then she was into doing new things. She decided to take up the guitar and taught herself some new crafts. As I mentioned a few days earlier on ye olde blogge, she also took up volunteering at her local cancer clinic and in Emerg.

In her “spare time”, she knit and crocheted chemo caps and squares to be sewn into warm blankets for people undergoing their infusions.

Still not in a wheelchair, she and my stepdad enjoyed travelling with their camping group and spending summers down at the lake in their ever-changing lineup of travel trailers. Mom walked or biked around the park every day to keep fit.

She didn’t actually end up in a wheelchair until the last few months of her life, and then only when she became too tired to walk more than a few steps at a time. She was 79 years old and finally in that damn wheelchair, 25 years later.

Even after she refused further treatment and knew she was dying shortly, she was still knitting and crocheting for her first great-grandbaby. To add variety to her day, Mom had also taken up another new hobby to keep her mind busy as her body was failing her – colouring in adult colouring books! My son framed 3 of her coloured-in mandala pages as gift for my stepdad, at her request. She had a goal to complete this before she died so he could have this as a Christmas gift from her. Mom died a week before Christmas 2015 but those mandalas were completed first. Oh, yes!

See what I mean about goals? With an example like that to follow, I can’t NOT have any no matter what age or condition I am in.

Rock on,

The WB

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