I retired early and now I'm enjoying life travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning and writing about my experiences on this blog as I go along. See also @steveisreading @steveiswriting and @steverichards on twitter
My youngest two children turned 16 today, a major landmark for them and me. Whilst I still have four children I guess I should really be thinking of them all as the wonderful young ladies they are and preparing for them to leave the nest. Steph is already well on her way, after three years at Cambridge she’s soon jetting off to China for the summer and then Japan for a year, followed by another year in the Netherlands. I’m not expecting to see her for more than a few weeks over the next two years. Even though we have Skype and lots of shared interests, I’m going to miss our birthday hikes, cafe breakfasts and long chat filled car drives!
I still have a few years left to enjoy the company of Tess, Ann and Jennie, but that time will zip past must too fast and I need to keep reminding myself to take maximum advantage of it now. It’s going to be very hard on me to see them leave, but so very exciting to see them on their way in life.
We had a lovely birthday meal out yesterday and much too much cake! I’m sitting in Caffe Nero now but I will be cycling soon, the perfect vehicle to complement my reflective mood and to burn off some of those calories.
Today’s picture is of Tess and Ann quite a few years ago, in all their cute glory.
I am on holiday this week and all 4 kids are doing activities (film and video, drama and sports club) so Debbie and I are able to spend from about 10:00 – 16:00 on our own just relaxing in and around our home town – St Anne’s on Sea. At home I like nothing more than a mix of long walks along the coast (east to Lytham and West to Blackpool), simple Cafe food, cycling, meditation and reading and the last few weeks the weather has been superb, with glorious sun with a warm breeze. When the kids get home it’s time for swimming and beach games – perfect.
4 days into this relaxing routine and it’s also noticeable that my arthritis pain is fading fast, a few years ago and after a weeks holiday it would be gone completely, now it never goes completely but relaxation and many hours of exercise definitely still has a very beneficial effect.
Kathy has yet another amazing post on her Creating Passionate Users site about the fact that animals love exercise, and she questions why we don’t. Well whilst I think its a great article with wonderful pictures of her horses if she came around to my house and saw my four girls bouncing on the trampoline she would see a lot of parallels with her horses. Some of us love exercise too, and its not just the kids round here who love the trampoline, the beach, the sand dunes, the tennis courts, the swimming pool and their bikes!
Last week I read the book “A whole new mind” by Daniel H. Pink. I found it very interesting, especially – as a parent of 4 girls – I am increasingly concerned about their futures. Daniel describes in this book the skills that are going to be needed to succeed in the future. The following mindmap is a summary of the book. A more details version of the map is also attached, as a PDF and a native MindManager file.
One of the nice features of the book is that at the end of each section it includes exercises that you can use to develop these skills, I started a mindmap of these two which is shown below and again a more details version of the map is also attached, as a PDF and a native MindManager file.