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Nov 6, 2023Liked by Scott H-K, Amy Redfield

Glad you are on the upswing....btw my wife volunteered with Refood (gathering and boxing food from restaurants and supermarkets to provide to needy families). Great organization with centers all over PT.

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Yes, Refood is on my radar. I applaud the mission. I view it as more of a supplement option for me as the work I can do there falls mostly into the "manual labor" category. As I start to get a better handle on my schedule with LP I will see what space there is for opportunities like Refood. Might have to wait until after my class ends.

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Nov 7, 2023Liked by Scott H-K, Amy Redfield

Thank you for sharing this I think your honesty is so needed

It’s very easy to have the honeymoon period or the distractions of wow so busy

The issue is as things slow & fall into daily rhythm & the need for purpose & connection is highlighted especially if not there

When realising how important it is & how without it one feels rudderless it can lead to some very uncomfortable & heavy feelings

Our plans have been slowed dramatically & it’s a story waiting to be written

There where no plans to stop & slow down only to change direction that we had been on

But due to the delays & more delays it was soul destroying & had become increasingly isolated so it’s taken lot of rethinking & talking & replanning plus great open honest conversations

Sometimes these things need to happen to make us very clear what we do want

Again thank you your honesty & openness is so needed it’s easy to paint a story of how perfect life is when in fact it’s a wonderful imperfect tapestry that’s woven by all the experiences good bad & the turning points

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Indeed: wonderfully imperfect tapestry. Well put.

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Nov 6, 2023Liked by Scott H-K, Amy Redfield

Would you consider volunteering your time at US non-profits from Portugal? I help first-generation college students at ANY (America Needs You) by reviewing resumes and doing mock interviews. All remote!

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Thank you for this tip! I've registered as a volunteer and have signed up for a mock interview event in January.

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Fantastic!!!

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Nov 6, 2023Liked by Scott H-K, Amy Redfield

This nails it!

I’m actually really surprised at how little I miss the work. I’m also surprised at how much that work gave me that I don’t have anymore: A routine. A variety of people to interact with every day. Puzzles to solve. Things to think about. Conversations. Laughter.

I hope you are able to find something meaningful to do. I did. Caregiving found me. I love helping people. But what you said above is IT. I've been back to work over the last 2.5 years to help with systems I had put in place over the years and it was very satisfying sand I really really miss the banter in the office. Again, sir, you nailed it!

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Thank you, Carole. I'm glad caregiving found you, that's wonderful! I am taking some good steps towards some meaningful options myself.

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Thanks so much for your honest share about settling into "retirement". It makes perfect sense why you'd feel the way you have this October and it gave me some good things to think about for that next chapter in my life too.

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You're welcome! I'm glad it gave you some good things to think about.

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Nov 6, 2023Liked by Scott H-K, Amy Redfield

I think you just were having a psychological throwback to your old life. October is supposed to be terrible, remember??? Actually, I am now exceptionally glad that I never got around to sending a snarky, "Hope you're enjoying retirement while the rest of us write 75 rec letters..." email I kept thinking of while buried under rec letters. And I am so proud of you for taking all the steps. Anxiety medication is the best! It will make a huge difference long term. Be well, my friend!

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Thank you, Moira! Maybe you're right about October throwbacks 😆. I'm glad you did reach out when you did, though, even as it turns out I wasn't needed. Just knowing I could potentially have been helpful actually made a big difference for a couple of days.

Congrats on getting through another October!!

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Nov 6, 2023·edited Nov 6, 2023Liked by Scott H-K

I sympathize with you, brother. Retired life without a purpose sucks. I retired at 61 in 2015 when my wife found a teaching job in Chengdu, China. The first 3-4 months were cool, exploring the city and what not. After that though the next few months were boring. I mean how much internet surfing can you do and I found learning Chinese way too hard. Luckily it never effected me mentally and I luckily fell into a job teaching Supply Chain Management at a local university so the next 2 years were ok. The two years we spent in Latvia I managed to find a bit of purpose substitute teaching 1-2 days a week at my wife's school. Now in Portugal we have a flower farm that keeps me busy. I am glad that you found something to give you a purpose each day. I hope things get better for you. Thanks for sharing.

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Thanks for sharing part of your story, Greg! And yes, please do tell us more about the flower farm!

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Nov 7, 2023Liked by Scott H-K, Amy Redfield

So half way through her first school year in Latvia my wife decided she wanted to retire when her contract ended in June, 2020. We have lived near the ocean pretty much our whole lives, but didn’t want to go back to the States. We also wanted a warmer climate having grown up in Southern California and raising a family in Miami. We had southern Spain or the Algarve region in our mind as we both speak the languages. So during her winter vacation in Feb 2019 we came to the Algarve to check things out with the idea of getting ideas of where to rent before we decided where to buy. Right away we saw we didn’t want to live in the south coast of the Algarve, way too developed. So we asked the realtor we had engaged to show us some places near the ocean, ideally with a little land for a garden. At first she showed us places up in the mountains near Monchique, but we told her we wanted closer to the ocean. She said that a property had just come on to the market and it turned out to be a 3.85 hectare (9 acre) flower farm about 1 mile from the ocean. She said if we were interested we had to act quick as properties like this didn’t come on the market very often. After about a week of thinking we said, what the hell, we wanted to be out in the country and although it was a lot more land than we were thinking of we could always sell it if things didn’t work out. So we made an offer in mid-March, 2019 and it was accepted. We closed on the place in Sept, 2019 (we delayed it to allow the sellers, who own 26 acres right across the road from us, to take advantage of the summer rental of the attached guest house). I came here in early Feb 2020 to supervise some renovation work and got stuck here due to Covid restrictions. My wife moved here in July 2020. It’s turned out to be one of the best decisions of our lives.

The flowers grown here were/are different types of proteas and also some ornamental eucalyptus. However, the protea plants are on the back side of their commercial lives and we have since taken out at least ½ of them. We are starting to replace them with lavender. We planted about 1500 plants in Sept, 2022 and just had our first harvest this summer. We are probably going to plant about 500 more this spring along with some vineyards, olive trees and pinion pines. It’s all pretty much a hobby farm, we sell some but definitely don’t make any money although I am hoping that in 2-3 years we might break even. But it’s all good, it keeps us busy and that is the most important to us. And it’s also about 3 miles from one of the best beaches in Portugal, Praia de Odeceixe and I get to play around in the waves on my bodyboard from time to time. If you are ever down this way you have to stop by.

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Wow!!!!

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A flower farm! Do tell!

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Nov 6, 2023Liked by Scott H-K, Amy Redfield

Hey, Scott, just so you know, depression runs in our family (my side). Grandma Laura had it, was suicidal at one time, you know your mother had it, I battle it also. Sorry to hear you are dealing with it now, too. Not surprising with all you and Amy have been thru in the last two years, plus coming to the decision to change your life completely, plus the world situation. I am relieved that you are handling it well and are getting involved with, hopefully, things you enjoy. It's great you are making a difference in other peoples' lives, but be sure you are involved with people and activities that excite you and feed your soul, whatever those might be. Pray about what God may be calling you to now that you are finally fairly well settled in Portugal. I'm impressed with your physical strength, too. Way to go! And maybe you need a vacay - explore parts of Portugal you haven't seen yet, for example. Do you want to come back to the US for some R&R? I'm proud of you and am here for you if I can do anything to help. Much love to you, Amy and Josie.

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Thank you, Aunt Phyllis. I have been praying daily for guidance and I believe I am being led to the opportunity that are starting to present themselves. I am excited to see where things go next.

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Nov 6, 2023Liked by Scott H-K, Amy Redfield

Hi Scott. I've battled insomnia, anxiety, overthinking, depression, and panic attacks for years so I can relate with your struggles. I retired 9 years ago at 60 in large part because of these issues.

We moved to Madeira last June and since then I have also had some physical results similar to yours.

It sounds like you are exiting the "honeymoon phase" regarding both your retirement and settling into your Portugal life, too. You're definitely on the right track by busying your mind and body with productive volunteer efforts.

Whenever I have a "project " to work on, I'm happy.

A few weeks ago, I thought of an educational curriculum I'm writing for kids 4-16 that every country could implement relatively soon and for moderate expense. The expenses are basically start up costs and materials. I've already written a children's book for this and I'm going to make a Kickstart pitch soon for publishing it and producing a PR pitch for this curriculum. That will be a new experience for me! And I can use any and all tech help, too. I’ve never done a PowerPoint presentation either. If you're interested in helping with my project, let me know by DM.

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Sounds like quite a project! That should keep you busy and allow you to learn many new skills! Might I suggest an alternative to PowerPoint?

Canva.com is a free, intent-based presentation software package. I have used it to create some charts and graphs for this blog and I've found it both more intuitive than PowerPoint and also easier to make things look visually appealing (not that my charts are visually appealing but that's a fault of mine, not Canva).

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HUGS!

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Nov 6, 2023·edited Nov 6, 2023Liked by Scott H-K, Amy Redfield

Thank you Scott for your thoughtful post and sharing what you're going through. I can absolutely relate to uninvited anxiety who wanders in and overstays its welcome. I really appreciate your creative and vibrant ideas of quieting the noise. Yours is always a refreshing voice. It's easy to spot a kind (and hilarious) soul and it's been a pleasure getting to know you.

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Glad to hear from you! I've missed you!

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Nov 6, 2023Liked by Amy Redfield

Miss you too!!

I'll be sending an overdue email this week catching up :)

Big hugs!!

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Thank you, as always, for your kind words, Kim!

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Nov 6, 2023Liked by Scott H-K, Amy Redfield

Hang in there, Scott! The volunteer opportunity sounds great - right up your alley and contributing positively to the lives of others. Perhaps you just have residual stress associated with October, lovingly referred to as Suck-tober by some college guidance professionals. You may well have had the crunch and crush of the build-up to November 1 application deadlines (which has only gotten worse in the last couple of years!) seared into your memory bank. Envious of your weight loss despite all of the temping food options in Lisbon! Keep at it and keep the faith. Boa sorte.

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Thanks, Tom!! I appreciate all of your support these many months. Congrats on getting through another Suck-tober!

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Nov 6, 2023Liked by Scott H-K, Amy Redfield

Scott, thank you for your candor and courage in sharing your life with us. I took an early retirement in 2021, and still figuring out my post retirement life, and your experience really resonates. Thanks 🙏🏻

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You're welcome. I wish you the best in figuring out your new life. If you want to drop me a line privately to talk and/or commiserate, please feel free to do so. You can reach me through our Drop Us a Line page.

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Nov 6, 2023Liked by Scott H-K, Amy Redfield

Scott, glad to hear you are doing better physically and have a plan on the mental component. Keep talking about it - many do not, which only continues the cycle. Looking forward to the next update for continued progress!

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Great to hear from you, Tarun, and thank you for the kind words.

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Nov 6, 2023Liked by Scott H-K, Amy Redfield

I had wondered how you were making the adjustment to retirement once settling in to Lisbon. It's such a huge adjustment for everyone, and we all deal with it in our own way. How wonderful that you have found these outlets! I hope they prove fulfilling and rewarding. ❤️

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Thank you, Aunt Clare.

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Monsanto hikes are a big part of my life here too. I perfectly understand.

The Rota Amarela is my favourite, especially if I can hike there and back (I turn midway back at the basket fields). Great endurance exercises, and the woods are enchanting: one can experiment every type of vegetation, from Eucalyptus to the Mediterranean bushes. It is lovely when it is raining (no one else around) and the only need is a pair of nice gripping soles (my Salomon boots, bought at Decathlon are just enough). The big perk is the after hike rewards: on Saturdays, hop towards Benfica for a Prego Sonhe at Cervejaria Boa Esperance (and add in some ameijoas and some nice octopus salad!).

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Once again you come to the rescue! I appreciate your continued input and guidance! Thank you!

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I almost forgot! There is an awesome dog park near the Serafina and a lot of friendly dogs and owners around - always a chance to pet a really good boy (or girl)!

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Nov 8, 2023Liked by Scott H-K

I wish I had your problems :_D

Thank you for sharing!

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