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Daily Archives: August 6, 2013

Stretch Goals

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Making the most of our lives. Finding something new and exciting that continues to inspire us.

There has been quite a bit of discussion within the Howard County blogger community that reflects this. Posts about Comfort Zones by Julia. About volunteering by Tom. About connecting with neighbors by Bill. About community by Lisa.

It was Bill who proposed the #summerofneighbors and I wrote a post about being neighborly. It sparked some of this discussion.

For me, I found that pushing the comfort zone after I retired meant learning to use and understand the connective tissue known as social media. It also meant pushing my hobby to a higher level, by entering the county fair. Not being afraid to fail with my tomato entries. Learning and growing and every year doing better. Meeting and talking with the people who make this county fair so special.

hoco fair opening day 025

It meant taking responsibility for some large events at my volunteer location. Like bringing together farmers for a panel and an opportunity to connect.

panel discussion

It also meant changing how we cooked, ate, shopped and traveled. Locavore, locapour, foodie. All those interests merging into a driving force that influences us.

valentine dinner 018

In other words, “Do Not Go Gently into That Good Night” (Dylan Thomas)

For both me and my husband, retirement was the entry point for doing those things we never had time to do. Things like his pursuit of DXCC (an amateur radio program that credits you for contacting each separate entity around the world).

cookbooks and souffle 064

And, his desire to have the time to do home projects, and bird watch, and take trips, and just walk in the woods. The slow pace outside that commuter world. The time to read. Books, newspapers, magazines.

For me, it has been the hobbies and the volunteering. The cooking and the writing. The garden.

scapes and kousas 020

We will probably spend four days at the fair this year. Saturday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Talking to friends there. Watching the auction. Checking out the exhibits.

Tomorrow we will be learning more about county history at the fair. Later this month I will be volunteering to clean up the CAC garden. Next month leading family hikes at the Conservancy. In October taking the social media class offered by David Hobby.

After all, isn’t what makes life interesting is the constant challenge, the “stretch goals” that keep us active and involved? I have to admit. Howard County certainly has enough going on to keep us busy.