Fourth Time’s a Charm

188220757187dae32adb3af278d41724So here I am with my fourth blog. My fourth!

What can I say? Blogging the past few years has helped me keep track of life and stay on track with our dreams, plans and goals, but as the focus of our lives keeps evolving and changing so have the blogs. We’ve paid off our debt (I’m Losing It Here), downsized and moved ourselves to Kaua’i (Noho’Ana Hau’ole), and settled in to our new life on the Garden Island (The View From the Treehouse). Along the way I’ve learned more than I imagined, not just about other people and places, but most especially about myself, about what makes me happy, and about what I want to do in the future.

If you have followed any of my other blogs you know that I am a finisher. I don’t just dream. I set goals. I plan. And then I execute the plan and go for the finish line.

It wasn’t always that way though. I grew up internalizing a message from my family that I was unserious, scatterbrained, silly, unable to finish anything. Because I was supposedly incapable of making a decision my parents and others made decisions and plans for me, but more to accomplish their own dreams and preconceptions, not mine. What I wanted to do carried little validity because what did I know?  And of course others’ opinion of me was always validated because for some reason I never seemed to finish anything I started.

Then, in 1977 I did something totally crazy. Without telling anyone I enlisted in the navy in order to take advantage of the then-existing GI Bill benefits. Bets were made that I wouldn’t even finish boot camp let alone make my way in the armed forces. However, as difficult as boot camp was (and it was awful), I was determined to not only finish on time but do well, and I did. Most importantly I also learned, beyond anything my time in the navy taught me, that when I set my own goals, follow my own dreams and make my own plans I follow through and accomplish what I set out to do. I am not a quitter, and I can accomplish any goal I set for myself (although the jury is still out on maintaining a weight loss).

Whether it was adopting our three daughters, paying off our debt or moving our family to Hawai’i, Brett and I have not only dreamed, but made concrete plans for reaching our goals, and then worked those plans. The path to accomplishing our goals hasn’t always been a straight line, or without its issues and setbacks, but we have always kept going and adjusted as necessary. And here we are, parents of four wonderful children, retired and living our dream on Kaua’i!

Our move to Kaua’i is not the end but the beginning of a new stage for us. We’re still dreaming, setting goals, and making plans. We’re in the beginning phases of thinking about how we will accomplish all we want to do and what we will need to accomplish in this next phase of our lives. In just three years our youngest daughter will graduate from high school and head off to college. And after she flies away, so will we. Beautiful Kaua’i will remain our home base, but we are looking forward to becoming Occasional Nomads, spending time in Japan every year near our son and his family and also visiting other parts of the world.

Until then we will be figuring out not only what we want to do, but where we want to go, how we want to do it, what we need to get there and how we will afford to not only travel but get three girls through college. Our income will be fluctuating for the next couple of years as the girls move on and my retirement benefits are added in. It’s going to be a bumpy ride for a while, but we have been there, done that and will adjust as necessary and keep going.

The Occasional Nomads will continue with updates from Kaua’i, and both the Sunday Afternoon and Feel Good Friday posts will continue as well. Brett will also be joining me here this time around, contributing posts about his hikes around Kaua’i, and his upcoming trip back to the mainland. His voice will be a valuable addition to our ongoing retirement story, and I’m thrilled he’s agreed to join me this time.

Many thanks to all of you for coming along – I hope you’ll enjoy this latest ride!

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14 thoughts on “Fourth Time’s a Charm

  1. Jen says:

    I have been following your blog(s) since “I’m Losing It Here”. Have kept following because I like your writing style and especially your goal-setting. Funny thing, I always assumed you were always a Goal-Setter so thanks for sharing that you learned it along the way. You inspire me to become a Finisher, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laura says:

      Yes, I served on active duty for a little over six months, but got out when I became pregnant and they would not station Brett nor I together (our separate duty stations were considered to be in the “same geographical location” even though they were nearly 500 miles apart). I met Brett when he was my instructor for a two-week class on transistor theory. He stayed in and retired after 22 years of service.

      Like

  2. Libby says:

    The new blog focus is great! Goal setting, travel, and living life your way…..love it all!

    Can you do a post on how you and Brett approach goal setting? Do you make separate lists and then compare? Is the process multiple conversations over a few months? Do you disagree and how do you find compromise?

    How are you estimating the money needed for each of these goals? Probably another post or series 🙂

    Looking forward to reading your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mamie says:

    I made it to #4 – been following since the “Losing It” days and have enjoyed the journey. I’m very excited to see where life takes you, and am thrilled that Brett will be chiming in with tales of his hiking adventures. Seeing YOU accomplish goals helps ME to stay focused, so thank you! I’m glad you decided to continue writing and sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Vivian says:

    Hi, I signed up for your blog but didn’t receive any emails so went hunting and found it. I signed up again so hope everything will work this time.
    Love reading your blog and because you write so much about setting goals I also set a goal for myself. I am going to save enough money to pay off one year of mortgage principal. It will take a while but like you demonstrate in your blog: set a goal and work towards it. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

    • Laura says:

      Thanks, Vivian! I’m glad you found me.

      Please keep me updated with your goal of paying off one year of mortgage principal. That sounds like a very doable goal.

      Like

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