Year 3 – Top 10

I’ve passed my third anniversary of my retirement date (where did the time fly; I still feel like I’m in transition) and my second year of blogging (excited that I’ve passed the infamous 18-month drop-off line, even if I’m not hitting my one per week personal goal). I enjoy top 10 lists, and avidly read ones others have posted.   So here are the top 10 things I’ve learned (so far) in post-work life and the world of blogging.

  1. Have a life vision based on what’s important to you. Own your choices of where you spend your time so you’re moving in the direction of your life vision. Stop listening to everyone else’s “you really should”.  Keep refining that vision as you learn new things, about what works for you and what doesn’t.
  2. Don’t let fear drive procrastination. Take action; do something (something small, if needed). What are you waiting for? As Nike so aptly puts it: Just do it. And celebrate those small advancements.
  3. Make gratitude lists regularly.
  4. Be OK with being a beginner. Try new things. Take the opportunity when presented – say “yes”. Give things a fair shot as well; don’t expect to be an expert immediately. If you like it, keep doing it. And be OK with less than perfection (like not hitting every week blog postings!).
  5. Stop listening to the voice of comparative inferiority. Stop feeling guilty/unworthy/less if you’re doing life differently. It’s your unique life, your unique retirement.
  6. Learn to just be It’s not always about constant activity and checklists. Stop to watch the surf, listen to the falling rain, read some blogs, or have a chat. And don’t feel guilty that is “wasted time”.
  7. Consciously build connections with others. Be OK with feeling like you’re putting in all the work – the social connection really is worth it. Appreciate the connections you do have – both IRL and virtual.
  8. Move Do something to get off the couch.
  9. Enjoy the journey. Find joy in the little moments of life.
  10. Marry the best guy ever to share that journey – the one who loves me even when I’m not very loveable. The homebody who was willing to go on a 3 week African Safari because I really wanted it. The hoarder who is trying so hard to downsize and de-clutter.  And a pretty good photographer, too!


Picture Credit: Superb Starling, Africa Safari  – Tim Doyle, 2017

16 thoughts on “Year 3 – Top 10

    1. Not so fast… I pretty sure you’ve got a best gal ever.

      I thought about trying to make it more inclusive, but changing it to “partner in life” sounded too stilted. And he’s not stilted… he does love me when I’m not very lovable. During Irma, he just kept saying … what will be will be and we’ll deal. Yes, he slept through the night while I worried. All that (unloveable, stressed out) worrying and we’re fine. And he only said I told you so once. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Terri, As I re-read the list, almost every one has been a learning curve for me. Well, maybe not #10 – that’s been just pure luck! Learning to just be for a type-A, check-list making planner is something that requires new skills. As I sit here in the morning sunshine and just play with my blog, I still think… is this wasting time? NO. It’s just being… with some virtual friends.


  1. All good points, but I want to heartily endorse #5. As my young nephew used to say, “do whatever you want.” Ha ha. You are leading YOUR life. No one else is leading your life nor are you leading anyone else’s life. As I’ve advised others, you should critically examine the “shoulds” in your life. Why do you tell yourself that you “should” do something? Is it someone else’s idea of what you ought to be doing or is it truly consistent with your values and vision? If it’s not, my suggestion is that you ditch that “should” and move on. I would further suggest that you limit the number of “shoulds” in your life. Take it easy on yourself! Every “should” reduces your degrees of freedom and with enough of them, you end up with a life filled with pressure, obligations and no freedom and who wants that, especially if you are retired??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leave it to an engineer to relate emotional should’s to “degrees of freedom”. 🙂 But, I’m printing this list and putting it in my morning journal as my new daily affirmations…. to try and really live the things I’m learning.

      I think I’ll need to see which item really wins out though… votes for #1 and #5 are in the lead!


    1. Yes, comparative inferiority is another long-standing habit of mine that I work to break. Through self-discovery i’ve realized I have a rule-abiding, expectation-meeting personality… so being unique and celebrating that is hard. But life is all about learning!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this list, Pat. I especially agree with #1, ie. Don’t ‘should’ upon yourself and don’t let others ‘should’ upon you! So glad that you continued blogging past the 18-month mark. (Many of us would stalk and find you if you ever tried to stop)! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Donna, you were the inspiration for this list actually. I stole #10 off one of yours!

      I have another friend who also always says “stop should-ing on yourself” 🙂 It’s a hard habit to break for this rule-abiding, expectations-meeting good-girl…but I am working on it.

      And thanks for the stalking threat….made me smile.

      Liked by 1 person

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