During my conversation with Patti, and then follow-on conversations with friends, I realized how many times we don’t talk to others about our problems or relationship challenges.. and then when we do, we learn that others are having very similar problems.
Often we don’t talk about our challenges out of shame, embarrassment, or perhaps we feel we shouldn’t be negative.. However, when we do share and are met with empathy, and find we aren’t alone, we can move forward with authenticity.
Come join my new group: Carpe Diem – Single Snowbirds if you’re single and like to enjoy warm weather in the winter. Whether for a quick vacation or the whole winter, I’m trying to form a network of singles who are retired or close to retirement who like to travel to warm weather places in winter.
Though I love my life and my Colorado home, I have always dreamed of being a snowbird once I retired.
For the last couple of years, I’ve been exploring different snowbird locations, and really loved the extended time I was able to spend with my friend, Becky, in her townhome in Sarasota in March and April, 2020. (It turned out to be a safe haven for the Covid-19 lockdown!)
That being said, I also loved the fun of travel and exploring a variety of places and cultures. In the last couple of years, I’ve explored Phoenix, San Antonio, Southern California, Las Vegas, Mexico, Costa Rica, Orlando, and Sarasota as potential snowbird spots.
I really think that rather than buying a second home, I’d rather keep exploring a variety of places, and include extended time in Spanish-speaking countries, as well as ending with some extended time at Becky’s, as long as she’s up for it!
It’s very rare that I hear of anyone who is single and doing the snowbird thing. I think this is for two reasons: 1) It’s really expensive and hard to maintain a second home on your own (it’s actually hard to maintain any home, if your traveling!) and 2) It can be really lonely and hard to make new friends in a secondary short-term place.. especially if you’re just passing through.
These things are difficult for couples, too.
I’ve found a lot of things that have helped me in my couple of years of snowbirding.
Rent out rooms in your primary home to people you trust. They can keep you posted about anything you need to know while you’re traveling and you’ll be making rent money at the same time!
Use Meetup, Facebook Groups, and other social media to find new friends, especially in the locations you’d like to explore.
See if you can work out “host trades” with friends… you host in summer when it’s too hot where they live and they host in winter when it’s too cold where you live.
Make friends with people where ever you visit… maybe your AirBnB hosts, or people you might meet at an event, class, Meetup or group activity, and then connect on social media so you can stay in touch. Share a business card with your information and stay connected. These may be people you’ll visit again or invite to visit you when you’re in your home state.
By the way, here’s another article I found with tips for Single Snowbirds. (I stole the image to use for this blog post). It’s from an association based out of Canada, though, and looks like you need to be a Canadian to sign up for their newsletter. Maybe I can see about creating a similar service for Americans!
Even though I’m not sure when all the restrictions will be lifted, I’m getting excited already about planning my next Winter season snowbird tour!
Watching the stories of these elders made me realize what an easy life I’ve had. I know we’re in the midst of a pandemic, but hearing stories of people who were impacted by Hitler and Stalin and the challenges that they and their families endured makes me feel so grateful that the biggest challenge in my life right now is the inconveniences of self-isolation.
Seeing the energy and hearing the stories from these upbeat seniors is a good reminder that life can be wonderful, and also difficult, at every age. One woman talked about moving to France after her kids were grown and that gave me renewed excitement about the extended traveling abroad I want to do when I can! In the mean time, it’s fun to plan! (And learn Spanish!)
All of the seniors offered up words of wisdom about living life fully, with kindness and grace.. messages we all hear often and wonder if we’ll still be able to do that as our bodies and minds start to decline. It certainly gave me hope and renewed motivation to keep practicing all of those healthy habits.
There was one couple who talked about finding each other… I think in their 70’s. I know I go back and forth about whether or not I want to find another partner, and have often thought that I’m happier single. But in the movie, the woman talked about how happy it made her to share life’s joys with a partner and I did think: Yeah… I really do miss that.
Sharing life’s joys and challenges… that’s so important for a happy life. And there’s nothing better than sharing those with an intimate partner.. after all, that’s what creates intimacy, right? But if you don’t have an intimate partner, then we can still share those ups and downs with our friends, family, and people in our lives. But yeah, I’m really missing those face-to-face connections right now.
How about social media? I keep reading it actually makes us lonelier, but I love having a place to share things that make me happy and reading about what’s happening with others.
So I’m going to try and get back into the habit of sharing more happy things every day.. and hope to follow the wisdom from these sages about how to live well each day.
I’ve been gaga about “happiness” for awhile now! One of my goals this week was to set up a “Carpe Diem Correspondence Corner” to write cards and letters (the old fashioned way!)
I even splurged on an old-fashioned sealing wax kit since I had one of these when I was a kid.
Even then, sealing wax was considered “old-fashioned” but back then (in the 60’s and 70’s), before email or personal computers, the way we communicated was through good ol’ snail mail! We couldn’t even make out-of-state phone calls without being reminded to “keep it short” because of the long-distance charges.
Now we have such a variety of ways to communicate and I love them all, but it’s fun to do things the old fashioned way sometimes, so one of my goals this year is to send more cards and letters through the mail.
I love that Dollar Tree has such a great variety of cards, stationary supplies, and fun, little doo-dads that make me happy. I found the little book, “Do more of what makes you happy” there and it has a bunch of happiness quotes. This is a perfect little gift for a friend who’s always collecting quotes. But before I send it off, I’ll capture the quotes here:
Savor the moments that are warm and special and giggly. ~ Sammy Davis, Jr.
If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. ~Katharine Hepburn
All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt. ~Charles M. Schulz
Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. ~George Bernard Shaw
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein
Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Take the moment and make it perfect. ~Zoey Sayward
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. ~Mae West
Nothing is impossible. The word itself says “I’m Possible!” ~Audrey Hepburn
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. ~Lao Tzu
Be Silly. Be Honest. Be Kind. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Make each day your masterpiece. ~John Wooden
Impossible is just an opinion. ~Paulo Coelho
Start each day with a positive thought and a grateful heart. ~Roy T. Bennett
A #2 pencil and a dream can take you anywhere. ~Joyce Meyer
Always believe something wonderful is about to happen. ~Author Unknown
One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure. ~William Feather
It’s time to start living the life you’ve imagined. ~Henry James
Be the change that you wish to see in the world. ~Mahatma Gandhi
Do more of what makes you happy. ~Author Unknown
Everything you can imagine is real. ~Pablo Picasso
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. ~Joann Wolfgang von Goethe
What you do today can improve all your tomorrows. ~Ralph Marston
In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity. ~Albert Einstein
Live each day as if it’s your last. ~David Nicholls
The best dreams happen when you’re awake. ~Cherie Gilderbloom
Believe you can and you’re half way there. ~Theodore Roosevelt
Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened. ~Dr. Seuss
Happiness is a warm puppy. ~Charles M. Schulz
The best revenge is massive success. ~Fank Sinatra
It’s kind of fun to do the impossible. ~Walt Disney
Be Yourself; Everyone else is already taken. ~Oscar Wilde
The power of imagination makes us infinite. ~John Muir
Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. ~Maya Angelou
Light tomorrow with today. ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Do small things with great love. ~Mother Teresa
Nothing can dim the light which shines from within. ~Maya Angelou
Be BOLD, Be ITALIC, but never regular! ~Author unknown.
I believe that if one always looked at the skies, one would end up with wings. ~Gustave Flaubert
The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all ~Walt Disney Company
I love these! Do you know of others? What would be YOUR happiness quote?
The first mission was to write what Superior means to me in three words.
Home Sweet Home – I travel a lot but feel so grateful that my home is in Superior, Colorado, sweetly nestled between cultural Denver and scenic Boulder.
One of the missions that I had trouble with was the one in which we were supposed to find a piece of litter found in Superior and dispose of it properly. It was so hard to find any litter in Superior! This town is unbelievably clean!
Yes, litter is hard to come by, but I have been finding little painted rocks with inspirational messages!
My neighborhood is so beautifully landscaped and litter-free that it’s almost surreal. In a time when there are so many people hurting, I recognize how wonderful it is to live in this community. I’m so grateful to all the people who work hard to keep it so safe and beautiful.
The video I made this week for the isolated seniors (as a volunteer for Seniors With Skills) are pictures I’ve taken as I’ve walked on the trails of Superior.
I’ve been much more observant of my surroundings since the Covid-19 crisis and also more aware of what a privileged life I’ve led. I’m so grateful to live in this community that demonstrates kindness and care for one another.
If you want to have a “Carpe Diem Mindset,” first you might want to figure out things that bring you happiness and joy. For me, three things I love are walking, sunshine, and playing games – like scavenger hunts!
Now that it’s summer and there’s plenty of sunshine, I’m creating my own “scavenger hunt” by walking the trails in my neighborhood and hunting for things that make me happy… and it turns out there are SO many things I’m finding!
To start this adventure, I found a map of my neighborhood at the Town of Superior’s Website that had all the walking trails marked:
Every day, I’m hitting the trails and taking pictures, looking for things that make me smile.
Here are a few of my favorites:
What things can you find that make you smile?
I’m grateful to the Town of Superior and all the people who make this area such a wonderful place to live.