Any major life change provides an opportunity to grow and learn, as well as the dangers of stagnation. Retirement is no different. When I started this journey, I decided I wanted to explore something I have never done before. I chose learning how to draw and paint. Being good at it was irrelevant. The important thing was to try something new and perhaps find a passion that would carry me through the next chapter in my life. The cover photo is a pastel I did 2 weeks ago in drawing class. I never would have thought I could produce anything of the quality of that little pastel – especially not dashing it off in 3 hours during class.

Ever wonder what it’s like for those involved when you see something Trending and Viral? Last week, I was a happy retired lady, lunching with friends, painting for fun, and my biggest worry was the declining health of my mother in law. Then the article in our local weekly newspaper ran. My life changed instantly. And not for the better.

Cue the scream.

It all started out as a bit of a lark. Sure – run a fun fluff piece in the weekly newspaper. Agree to a local late night news story as a favor for a friend?

We are all creatures of habit, and changing 30+ years of fully-ingrained habits is about as easy as putting together anything from IKEA – there are always screws or bolts left over that you know should have been included, but you can’t figure out where they were supposed to go. You’re left with the sinking feeling the whole thing is going to fall apart at the worst possible moment.