The Joy of Not Working

My word for this year is Joy. Living a year of finding joy in the little moments, finding joy in not working, and finding joy in exploring new things has been uplifting.

New things that added joy to my life: a long-weekend trip to NOLA with hubby, Zumba, Cooking Boot Camp, regular beach yoga in Florida, park hikes with friends, visiting a fall festival corn maze, a mid-week visit to an iconic dairy-whip, going to a local soccer game, celebrating summer solstice, my mid-week foodies club, taking a pottery class (and using my hand-made, not-quite-round, beautiful snack bowl regularly), regularly shopping at our favorite specialty food store, morning journaling, getting more comfortable standing on my SUP.

Choosing to be happy. Part of finding joy has been choosing to be happy.  As a natural pessimist, I have found a sequence of tools that help make that choice a bit easier. This year I am actively practicing gratitude. I am learning to be more emotionally aware and labeling negative emotions. I am creating (daily, weekly and monthly) intentions for things I want to do and then celebrating the little “accomplishments” in completing them. I am actively connecting with others – from being more mindful in listening to others to reaching out and attempting to create new friendships/support networks. I am learning to be OK with the transition process – from accepting the fact I am a beginner at much of this not-working, living stuff and that everything I try will not work out.

Finding joy by realizing what makes me “spark”.I am a structure-girl, a synthesizer, a list-maker, and a planner. Those terms make many people cringe, but for me, life is more joyful with some daily/weekly structure, something to research/learn about, a to-do list, and a life action plan. Drives my non-planning, non-list-making hubby insane.

Finding the joy has really helped me to transition from being a workaholic to living life.

What brings joy into your life?

Picture Credit: Pixabay

2 thoughts on “The Joy of Not Working

  1. This post brings me joy! It sounds like your focus on seeking out interesting activities, going on adventures, and celebrating your accomplishments has really sparked joy in your retired life. I need to have some structure and love to keep lists also… it would make me crazy to just wing things and “see what happens.”


  2. What a lovely post! It’s so inspiring how you’re approaching your retirement with intention, and all you’re learning in the process. On the “spark” point — something I’m so curious about for myself is what I will actually be like once work is gone. I have always hated the mandated structure of work, but I’m definitely not a totally free-form personality either. I like planning and lists and thorough thinking (I know, you don’t say). 😉 So I wonder if my dislike of structure has been primarily a dislike of work, and if once I’m freed from that, if I’ll actually gravitate back to structure. Will be interesting to find out!


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