Participate in Life: My Retirement To Try List

To Try List
Adding a To Try List to My Life


Today, I feel officially retired. Because today is the second day I didn’t go to work. No sitting in meetings, watching the clock, thinking about all the other things I should be doing to get my classroom ready for Monday’s first day of school. Instead of a list of things to duplicate, check, plan, I have a Retirement To Try List. Things I hope to try now that my days don’t include working.

I spent much of my summer getting my feet wet with how I want to behave during retirement. My first retirement adventure involved trying water aerobics-something I never thought I’d do. A planner at heart, I gave spontaneity a try when my daughter invited me to go with her for a weekend in the mountains. The joy of that experience encourages me to try spontaneity more often.

Retirement To Try List-So Far

As Van and I prepare to move, we discuss what to keep and what to give and throw away. We plan where our furniture belongs, the style of window coverings, whether we need a new refrigerator. We’re also talking about new things we want to try as newly retired people.

  • Kayaking-Prescott has several lakes, and since we both love the water, we want to make kayaking part of our life. Kayaking isn’t really new, since we’ve done it before, but we hope to buy a kayak and spend time out on the lake on a regular basis. On our last visit, we kayaked with Judy and David and loved every minute.

Try List

  • Ballroom Dancing-Judy and David took us to two concerts; one at the old opera house and one in the town square. At both events, we watched people get out of their seats and dance. Even though I may not have much rhythm, I want to seize the moment and participate in life instead of merely being a spectator.
  • Bike riding-It’s been a long time since I rode a bike. Van and I used to do a small amount of bike riding in the early years of our marriage. We hope to make biking in our beautiful new city a regular part of our life. Of course, we have to start with circling the driveway until we build up enough stamina, but we have all the time there is!

Whether you’re retired or not, seize the moment! Start a to try list. And then, act on it. 

What’s on your to try list?

Linking with Five Minute Friday, Grace and Truth, Counting My Blessings



Author: Debbie Putman

I am a child of God, seeking to trust Him in every joy and sorrow. Sharing my walk is my husband, Van. God blessed me with two beautiful daughters and three delightful grandchildren. I teach seventh grade English and History, love to read and bake cookies, watch the birds in my backyard, and the ocean.

10 thoughts on “Participate in Life: My Retirement To Try List”

  1. Debbie, this is great! And I love the kayaking picture; you guys look way cool, like I wish I could be.

    And Prescott! I envy you.

    I actually started a Try List a couple of days ago…well, there’s only one thing on it. I had pretty well closed down my aeroplane-building efforts because I’m too tired, it hurts too much, and why bother with something I’ll never finish?

    And then I found some parts I had built for a Pitts aerobatic biplane…I had sold on most of what I’d done a couple of years ago, but the buyer didn’t want these bits. (Bits of Pitts?)

    And a little voice said, well, why not? I still have odds and ends of material, I still have my tools, and I’m going to be tired and hurt anyway.

    So I’m building again. It feels so good, to have planted a tangible and corporeal foot in the future!

    #1 at FMF this week.

    1. Andrew, you always inspire me! You keep pushing and living despite everything that’s negative. So glad you’re finding joy in the pain.

  2. Hi there – I’m next door to you at #29 in the linkup. Great idea to start a list like this – enjoy yourself! It’s always good to keep ourselves challenged and motivated. Thanks for your post; I enjoyed it.

    1. Thank you, Jeannie. Challenged and motivated, I like that. And yesterday I tried something fun I’ve been wanting to do for a long time-my first Ferris wheel! My daughter indulged me and we went to the Ventura County Fair. We could see the ocean and the mountains. Beautiful!

        1. I don’t think I’m brave, Betsy, but thanks for the compliment. I just know I could easily stay in my comfort zone of reading and miss out on some great adventures!

  3. Okay, Debbie, maybe I shouldn’t have asked for that address after all. I’m torn between jealousy and inspiration. We go to school on Tuesday. TWO WEEKS before students return. I love your list. Sounds like you and Van are planning lots of fun adventures. Blessings as you make the big move, and get started on your list.

    1. Wow! Two weeks before students start! My district officially had us return two days before students started. I often went in two weeks before that, because those two days were always spent on meetings and I could never get what I needed done unless I did it during vacation. I taught for 35 years, so I know how you go from 0-60 in a flash. Lord, I pray for Alice. Bless her year and fill her heart with peace and joy as she influences so many for You. I ask that she is able to see what’s important and do those things, not getting trapped in urgent. Thank You that she gives herself to these children. Amen.

Thank you for joining me on my journey with God in uncharted water. Please let me know how He is working in your life.