We’ve Become the Hewitts

My husband and I have been long-time friends with Stan and Deidre Hewitt. That’s not their real names, but let’s call them that for the purpose of this post – they’ll recognize themselves soon enough.

The Hewitts retired a couple of years before us. ‘Extremely active’ does not begin to describe their lifestyle. At their home in BC they both regularly golf, cycle, camp, garden, cook, entertain, help out with the grandchildren (and the grand-dogs). They also are avid downhill skiers. Frequent travelers, they spend much time in California and Arizona, as well as trips abroad (they’ve recently returned from cycling in Cuba). Stan, the poster-child for retirement-energy-extraordinaire, frequently competes in triathlons and other endurance sports. In fact, Stan regularly sets his alarm clock for six a.m. each day simply because he does not want to miss anything. Deidre, an avid reader, said that she used to read multiple books per week…before Stan retired. “The year that Stan joined me in retirement, I barely finished a single book”, Deidre told me–with her broad smile, “we were simply too busy!”

Each retired couple that we know models a unique retirement lifestyle.  Some are much more content with a gentler, stay-near-home pace, while others maintain lifestyles that definitely rival the Hewitts for speed, stamina, and travel miles! When planning for our retirement, we were aiming for a balance between the two ends. In my mind’s eye, we were currently living that average, in-between lifestyle.

Yesterday, at a family gathering in Vancouver, a friend innocently asked, “how was your recent trip?”  I stared blankly. Was she talking about Kelowna, where we had just driven back from that morning? Or Victoria, where we were last week? Or Spain, where we were less than a month ago? Or England where we were for our youngest son’s graduation just before that?

“We’ve turned into the Hewitts!” I exclaimed to my husband once we had returned home. “How so?” he asked. I handed him our September calendar. “Four nights of camping, followed by family visiting from out of town, followed by another family outing in Vancouver, followed by our road trip to Palm Desert,” I said, highlighting only the key events. “You left out the visit from the Hewitts,” Richard said. “They emailed this morning–they’re stopping by in the middle of the month on their way to Tofino.”

So, maybe we do currently have a rather active retirement lifestyle. Like the Hewitts, we are having tons of family-time, friend-time, exercise, and adventure. We have also been able to do this in very low-cost ways (often with dog-in-tow). Most importantly, we are loving every minute of it. When it’s time to take a break or slow down a bit,  I know that we will do so.

As I am typing this, the phone rings.  A couple of minutes later, I grab my September calendar, smile,  and add in just one more thing!

17 Replies to “We’ve Become the Hewitts”

    1. Thanks, Liz. I do have a great book club! We are currently reading Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden. If you haven’t yet read it — I highly recommend it! Thanks for reading, and for commenting!

    1. Thanks, Jess. We are currently camping nearby if you want to drop by for campfire dinner tonight or tomorrow night (or lunch if you prefer). Lot 22 at the provincial park. (Unfortunately we don’t have cell service..unless we go to the closest store).

  1. I think sometimes we are the Hewitts and sometimes we are the couple that just likes to chill. The beauty of being retired is that you can do both! I need a book for my next book club hosting so I’ll check Through Black Spruce out – thanks for the recommendation (even if it wasn’t for me). Enjoy camping… we are off to a neighbor’s BBQ.

    1. Thanks, Janis. Great point! Another book that you could consider for your book club is “The Elegance of the Hedgehog”. It is a fabulous book for book club discussion!

  2. I’m exhausted just reading your post. May need a nap. We are definitely the closer to home, run around town retired couple. We had the grandkids for 4 days and I’m in recovery. I realized we don’t have anything scheduled (except workmen) until next week. That’s ok. We are also spontaneous so stuff happens. Take your vitamins and be as active as you can for as long as you can! (and definitely take the pooch with you!)

    1. Thanks, Kate. That’s how I used to feel about the Hewitt’s (exhausted and needing a nap). You’re right — I’ll definitely need my vitamins while maintaining this pace. Thanks for your comment – the part about needing ‘grandparent recovery’ made me smile!
      Donna

  3. I remember when my parents were still alive, my father would often say he was busier after he retired than before.

    Now I’m starting to appreciate that comment because it’s so true!! My days are usually so full doing stuff that I wonder how on earth I managed while I was still working!

    I love being a Hewitt!

    1. Hi, Joanne – Thanks for reading, and for commenting. From my experience, your father’s words were very true. Welcome to the Hewitt clan!
      Donna

  4. Great title and then post explaining the title. If my guy and I ever retire, that’s the way I want to do it: active, playful, traveling, exploring. Even now with our careers, with six grandchildren (three on each coast) we find ways to fly and visit the ones far away every three months or so. The best thing of getting ‘older’ is having the ability to enjoy every second!

  5. Cute read Donna…..since I know the Hewitts, know what you mean! Could we every be that organized busy….sometimes we are also and then I just need that down time to smell the roses! Retirement some days is hard to fit everything in and you wonder where the time has gone.
    I enjoy your reading…..we are off to the island for a three day world win trip to visit my son and go fishing with him ….his new business Craig’s Charters out of Campbell a River. Just got home from camping /fishing with Greg and Odette…she said we should stop by! I know we will not have time so here is my hello and again enjoy your stories!! Keep on blogging…..

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