Revisiting My Retirement List 

Review and revise your Bucket List

My retirement list records your hopes and dreams for retirement, sometimes called a Bucket List.  Marie G revisits her list two years into retirement, and reflects on her achievements, interests and activities, before and after retirement.

My interests and activities

Then: Writing (including historical research), reading, photography, drawing, painting, collages, sewing, outdoors (walking and maintenance), travels.

Now (March 2012):
 Practically all my writing is geared towards historical writing and letters in relation to my historical research. All my reading has to be educational, e.g. investigate different formats of history reports and read about specific events. Photography has also taken an increased place in my life. A combination of writing and illustrations has become my ultimate choice. 

My last chance Bucket List

  • Stay in the committee of the Local History Society where I live and contribute to exhibitions, radio talks, lectures and other relevant activities. 
     Same on-going activities.
  • Enter writing competitions on a regular basis. After several years of trying, I just won a creative writing award at the Franco-Irish Literary Festival of Dublin, which is very encouraging.
     I decided not to enter competitions in 2012 (other projects, see below).
  • Obtain a VEC qualification for a syllabus I have prepared and am practicing now, called "Small writing, big pleasure". 
     I have recently become a qualified VEC tutor in "Basic creative writing".
  • Attend writing workshops, literary festivals and cultural events on a regular basis. Contribute efficiently to their activities. 
     going well, e.g. literary, arts and films festivals. I am also attending regularly a camera club to share and improve my digital photography.

  • Contribute regularly to a Non-Fiction Writers' Group. 
     although I remain a regular attendant of the group, I have reduced my written contribution.


  • Facilitate the new "Cercle d'ecriture" (writers' group) at the Alliance Francaise de Cork. 
     still going on.

  • Improve my painting non-skills. 
     I am trying hard. It is more difficult for me to improve my painting than my writing. I enjoy both activities a lot, but always give priority to the writing.

More from my retirement list

  • Research on the history of the 300-year-old house where I live, on two fronts: the families and the architecture. 

     going strong, my main activity nowadays. A (unfinished) preliminary article has been accepted for publication and has become my current priority. As a consequence, my research is very focused in that direction right now.
  • Research on the history of an ancestor of mine, a French sculptor named CORTOT. This is done in conjunction with my sister (in France). 

     we have been actively preparing a visit to the Villa Medicis in Rome (where he lived) as our ultimate goal prior to publication.
  • Compile the flora and fauna of the small field that surrounds the house. Text and illustrations. 

     practically finished. The elements will be incorporated to the old house stories, rather than being published separately.
  • Publish: the fields of research above will eventually induce publications. 

     this is taking off, in a totally new format for me (text and image). I had to learn desk publishing software to become more "editing/publishing" independent.
  • Get the surgery on my two feet done (Hallux Valgus). Take advantage of the bed-ridden situation to write and paint. 

     this was (well) done 5 months ago. I took advantage of my bed-bound situation to complete a correspondence course and got my diploma in "Editing and proofreading".
  • Travel, mostly for family reasons: grown up sons in the USA and siblings in France. At least once a year for each. 

     done according to plan.
  • Take care of the said old house, by repairing the inevitable degradations each year and cleaning the incrusted dirt in every crack of floors and walls, while deterring uninvited guests to settle in. 

     degradations and uninvited mini-guests will always be present. Being retired, however, allows me to better follow up the prevention plans.

Your turn

Take a sheet of blank paper and write on it My Retirement List and follow Marie G's example, and please share your story.

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