When we retire, we have the freedom to step away from certain constrictions, ranging from tight-fitting work clothes to tension-producing relationships. We can let go of unrewarding pursuits and shed a little or a lot of our old skins.  We have the freedom to try new ventures and make mistakes without fear that our blunders will make their way into annual performance reviews.  Retirement is also a time for reflection. What pursuits do we find most meaningful? What will give us the most satisfaction? What would we still like to accomplish? How do we live with purpose? What passions will we purse?

I retired after working for 40 years in the field of education and most recently doing school public relations/community outreach in a mid-size urban school district.  I wrote for superintendents and school board members.  Now I’m working on my second novel, writing for me and I hope for you.

In this blog, I offer my own reflections and passions for travel, writing, physical and mental health, and everyday life. I seek out the latest research on staying happy and healthy. I delve into issues most of us over 50 can relate to, like noticing wrinkles and forgetting where we left our keys, and discuss the pros and cons of different ways to engage our minds and bodies after we leave the workplace. Because laughing at ourselves helps keep us real, I lace humor into most of my blog posts.

I chose the title Still Life for its two possible interpretations: one represents a hope that retirement will involve a somewhat calmer life with fewer deadlines and requirements to please others, and the other recognizes that most of us still have a life after retirement, and a fulfilling one at that.

5 Responses to About

  1. Karen Clark says:

    What a perfect name! Remember the “still” (less frenetic part) and that your only deadlines are now those that your own interests or priorities establish. You are in total control.

  2. Christie Hammond says:

    Ann, I am so glad to have the opportunity to catch up with you again. You were there for me when I started out teaching at Lake Hills Elementary in esl with Mary Minkiwitz. I want to thank you for your generous spirit and ever present calm leadership and support.

    I am no longer teaching, a casualty of the state and district budget cuts in early 2003 in a district where I had no seniority. I own and operate a bookkeeping company and I know that some of the determination that made that possible was learned in the early lessons of my teaching days.

    Enjoy your retirement, you earned it.

  3. AAA Travel Agent says:

    Hi Ann,

    I noticed your article titled “The Battle of Travel” in the Bellevue Reporter and felt compelled to write to you. Although many Travel Agents did disappear when the airlines got greedy and stopped paying commissions (along with cutting a lot of other necessary services like allowing us to talk to humans, not robots and letting us take our bags on vacation for free!), there are still some of us out there alive and well and operating in more of a niche market.

    I work for AAA Travel, a full service travel agency – with offices all over the country. I operate out of the Bellevue call center.

    We have walk in offices all across the state and service non-members and members alike. There is a small $30 fee for members and $40 fee for non-members to purchase airline tickets, but that is more to do with the fees the airlines impose on us. When you book your air with a package or cruise, however, there is is no fee and there is even a discount. We book cars with Hertz at huge savings. Better than anything you will find online! And even if it’s just tickets you are buying, at $30-40, for a complex itinerary or all those hours spent shopping online for many people it is really worth it!

    With the demise of many of the luxuries of travel, so came the disappearance of many Travel Agencies… but not us 🙂 In a once booming industry our clients love the – now hard to find – assistance provided by our knowledgeable travel agents. They love that we are local and do not outsource and that we are caring and kind…not to mention that we save our clients big $$$ and keep the pleasure in booking a vacation…it’s supposed to be fun and exciting…. right?!

    Anyway, I saw your article and just wanted to let you know that we are still alive and well.. It is a wonderful career and one which I hope will continue to take me to many places across the globe.

    And no…this was not something paid for by AAA and I am no PR or marketing expert.. Just felt that a good wrap was due for a company that is great to work for (we won one of Washington’s Best Workplaces to Work awards in 2011).

    Next time you are feeling frustrated give us a call on 425-462-2222.

    Kind regards,

    A AAA Travel agent in Bellevue!

  4. Hello Ann,
    I am becoming a fan…of the blog, and have “enrolled”! I have always been a fan of Ann Oxrieder!!! Am setting up a tour of the Eastside Heritage Center archives, the Winters House, and our offices at the McDowell House as you requested, this week if convenient. I am also hoping that you would like to attend our annual Volunteer Appreciation event, held this year on Thursday Mar 29, 4:30pm at the Microsoft Store in BelSquare. Microsoft is focusing on the Eastside Heritage Center this month, and is offering some interesting programs for public outreach. Heritage is a wonderful fit for retiring citizens like yourself. Check the EHC web site at http://www.EastsideHeritageCenter.org for all kinds of ways to pad your recent retirement, and contact me with news of your availability for the tours and event.
    L. Lee Maxwell

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