My Blog Anniversary – A long look back

It’s hard to believe I just passed the 4th anniversary of this blog.   I actually told someone it was the third… and then checked. Nope, I’ve been writing for 4 years! I started when I was “knee-deep” in my own retirement transition, still trying to figure out a vision, a plan, an identity, a new life rhythm.   What was this thing called “retirement” going to be for me?

This year, my retirement vision statement was two fold:

Create the Vision. Plan the Path. Live the Journey.

Active. Connected. Creative. Contemplative.

I have a retirement lifestyle vision, based on knowing who I am and what my values truly are. Simply put: I want my life to be active, connected, creative, and contemplative. I put plans in place – yearly goals, seasonal bucket lists, weekly to-do lists. I try (not always successfully) to live each day mindfully, to enjoy the quiet times, and to be grateful for the abundance in my life. I’m working to change some long-held limiting beliefs and conditioned responses, also not always successfully.

But key days like anniversaries (and birthdays, new years, new moons, etc.) tend to be reflection points for me. Plus, recently I wanted to reference a blog post I wrote for another blogger (who had written about a similar concept), and could not find it! So this anniversary, I stopped to look back at ALL my blog posts…. all 4 years, all 172 posts! I had never done a long-look review of them before.

What can I learn from looking at the whole thing?

Not surprising, I’ve written a lot about the Retirement Transition PROCESS!

Early on (September 2015) I posted about laying out the basic process I followed (which became the cornerstone of my book.  If you haven’t yet checked it out, here is a link to buy it on Amazon).

Later on, there is a series of insights that it’s Not an Overnight Transition in February 2016, it being hard work in the  Work of Retirement in October 2016, and thinking of retirement planning as Going Beyond the Money in September 2017.   I wrote about understanding that retirement is About the Journey (March 2017) and is a Series of Transitions (May 2018). And most recently, I was happy to see my feeling of completion in April 2019 with No Plan to Full Life Framework!

 

Of all the Lifestyle Domains outlined in my book Retirement Transition – An Innovation Approach, I personally focused on a few, and repeatedly posted as I learned my way in these new life spaces.

 

 

 

 

Contemplation was added to my vision statement this past year as I refined my vision. (Refine is the 5th step of the innovation approach!)  But self-development is also a Life Domain and I was already thinking about Personal Growth in Retirement in September 2017. But, in the last couple of years I’ve been doing a lot more in this area with understanding my thinking patterns and exploring spirituality.

 

 

  • And I’ve summarized some of the inspirational books I’ve read – Ageless Soul (June 2019) and Wise Woman Ways (June 2019 and July 2019)

Self-development also shows up in posts about Learning How to Just Be (and not always do), which has been an on-going challenge for this type-A planner!   From trying to learn the Joy of an Empty Calendar (February 2016), to Balancing Be-ing and Do-ing (March 2017), to Doing Nothing in July 2018, and finally learning to be Un-Busy in August 2019. I am still on the learning curve here, but I do feel I am more balanced in doing and being!

Self-development shows up again in learning how to overcome my barriers, another on-going challenge. Barriers show up in early blog posts like Breaking Barriers in October 2016 and We’ve Got a Name for That in March 2016. My specific big challenge about getting started shows up in What am I Waiting For in January 2016, Knowing is Easier than Doing in March 2106, Intention versus Habit Formation in October 2017, and Activation Energy in February 2018. I think in Planned Spontaneity (November 2018) I finally realized that planning is part of who I am and a necessary element for me to “get moving”. I still find the need to remind myself regularly that Today is Someday and to stop putting off the things I want to do in retirement!

 

Following the process I outline in my book Retirement Transition, I do have a few posts that explore creating Personal Possibility Lists – phase 2 of the overall process.   From the earliest Imagine Possibilities in September 2015, What’s on Your List in January 2016, and Relook at Possibilities in October 2017 to later posts about New Things to Explore March 2019 and New Things Thinking May 2019.

Lists of things-to-do (to fill your own Personal Possibilities List) show up in various posts about Struggling with Identity and the Reality of Daily Living in retirement: there is the What do you do? (January 2016 and again in June 2017), What do I want to be when I grow up? in November 2016, and What is Retirement Life Really Like in May 2018. My trying to find a new sense of retirement lifestyle and breaking the stereotypes shows up first, I think, in Living a 21st Century Retirement (January 2017).

 

By far, some of my favorites posts are the Tools posts! From the summary post about My Favorite Self-Discovery Tools in July 2018, to individual posts using the tools: Jolts of Joy (September 2015), 52 New Things (June 2018), Future Scenarios Writing (July 2018), and How to do a Word-of-the-Year (January 2018). There are examples of using Vision Boards (January 2017, January 2018February 2019), Seasonal Bucket Lists (March 2018, December 2018, April 2019), and A to Z Lists (Soaring in April 2018 and Favorite Things in July 2019). A tool I continue to use is one I posted about in What’s Really Important in January 2018 – comparing my real activities to my values/vision.  If you haven’t looked at some of these tools, you might want to explore one or two.  I use them regularly, I enjoy using them, and I do believe they help me in creating my vision and planning my path.

 

Intriguingly, my blog posts show my major life moments, both good and bad.   There is the Bump in the Road in January 2017, the Anti-climatic Milestone in March 2017, and the Change of Plans in December 2017.  But there is also My African Adventure in July 2017, The Big Move in October 2017, getting Out of My Comfort Zone in October 2018, Our Snowbird Adventure (February 2019 and March 2019), and then my book publication this spring (March 2019).  Looking back, the 2017 year was an event filled tough one! It’s wonderful to see all those life moments, good and bad.

 

And… while I’ve linked a lot of posts, this is not a full listing!   I was a bit surprised to see topics repeated time and time again as I struggled to learn new ways of thinking, doing/living, and being.   It might be a bit indulgent, but looking at it all I feel a sense of accomplishment in continuing to share how retirement life is a series of transitions and a time of continual learning – both in how to be & think and in developing new skills & trying new things.

Hopefully you’ll link back to a post or two that spark your interest.

And if you read this whole thing… Thanks so much for indulging me!

Picture Credit: playing with Canva

 

37 thoughts on “My Blog Anniversary – A long look back

  1. Congratulations on four years of blogging, Pat! I am approaching my fourth anniversary–this October. I didn’t realize you were just a newbie blogger when I first discovered Retirement Transition. I enjoyed reading your summary of posts and the journey you’ve been on. You’ve covered a lot of ground. Congratulations and good luck going forward. I look forward to seeing where the future takes you.

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  2. A great deal of wisdom in your post, Pat. Your lifestyle vision is inspirational. Especially when you use words like “working to change.” You remind me how we are continually evolving and how we are a work in progress. A very in depth post which has allowed me to learn more about you, Pat. Thank you for sharing your wisdom:)

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    1. Thanks Erica. I think it is one of the ah-ha’s of retirement for me… allowing myself the time to contemplate things and work on changing things like long-held beliefs or conditioned responses…. and accepting that this is a work in progress. The “old me” would have beaten myself up for not succeeding immediately. Now, I’m OK with little steps forward.

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  3. Congratulations and Happy 4th Blogaversary Pat! Your blogging journey is very similar to mine and I find it fascinating how we have all evolved not just with our writing but also our blog presentation. I’m coming up to my 62nd birthday this week and my 4 year blogging anniversary in January. I always enjoy your insights into Retirement and applaud you for also becoming a published author this year. Thanks for sharing your blogging celebrations with us at #MLSL and here is to another 4 years! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sue. Your blog is one that continues to inspire me. I’m really enjoying your monthly themes and am always amazed at how you stay on-top of social media. I took a Webinar about book promotion and you are doing many of the things that are recommended to sell books! So if you ever want to write and publish, you’ll have the promotion part all ready!

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  4. 4 years, Pat, wow…not even up to 1 yet, but it feels like I’ve been doing it longer than that. Still, I have much to learn and am enjoying the journey. Your posts in particular are ones that I look to for information and guidance in my own “retirement transition”.
    Best, Nancy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nancy, It will go by so quickly. I was surprised myself as I looked back at things. And there are others who have been blogging for 7, 10, or 12 years! I heard a statistic early on (not sure if fact or fiction) that many bloggers don’t reach a year, and very few last 5 or more….so I’m going to keep going. I might not be a huge success as defined by social media (number of followers, monetized), but when someone says that they get guidance or inspiration from my posts, that totally makes my day!!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Natalie, I can totally see a difference in how I am now versus 4 years ago. Still working on many of the same things, but it feels easier now in many aspects. More of a life in balance.

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  5. Happy 4th Blogaversary Pat!! (fireworks and cheers) I’m coming up towards 5 years in December and I also thought I’d been blogging for a year less than I have. I can’t believe what a wonderful journey blogging is – I leapt into it completely green and have reaped sooooo many blessings from it, including the fabulous friendships and connections (like you).
    I think sharing our stories makes such an impact – yours has certainly helped me in my transition and I love it when people tell me my story resonates with them too. I don’t see either of us stopping any time soon, and for that I’m really grateful – no burn out, no dry well, no disappointment – just a fun and enjoyable ride xx
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for continuing to host #MLSTL. I look forward to Wednesdays for this (the day for me i pull it up to read). Your recent post by Anne about us all telling our stories really speaks to this doesn’t it. Sharing our journey so we know we are not only ones struggling with life’s transitions. Getting support and inspiration. Yes, It’s why I keep blogging!

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  6. Hi pat, I have also been writing for four years. Like you, my first posts were my way of thinking through the process of leaving my job and trying to figure out what was next for me. I find that I think through writing.

    I think the entire process is self development or personal transformation or whatever you want to call it! It is fascinating to look at your posts and see themes emerge. It is a great record of where you have been!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michele, Like you, I absolutely think through things by writing about them. And you know I love to think about, too. It’s also nice to know folks are wiling to read what I write as I’m doing this.

      Looking back it was mind-opening for me to see what I had written about… my posts are not that well-planned.

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  7. Happy bloggy birthday. I love a good recap and reflect post – and this is a good one. It’s really cool how you can look back and see how you’ve changed and grown through both the style and the topics of your posts. All I can say is keep ’em coming! #MLSTL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for looking back at some older topics! It was one of the reasons I did this … for some newer followers to see some of the core ideas of retirement transition. Not that I expect anyone to read all of them, except maybe my mother who I believe has! (And the comments, too – Hi Mom!) But I’m glad you’re interested in checking out some older stuff. Do let me know if there is ever a topic you’d like a re-visit to! As I’ve retired, my thinking on some things has evolved or deepened.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Congrats on the accomplishment of so many posts. Isn’t it amazing the number of topics we tackle, all in the hopes of finding unique kernels of interest? I’d say you’ve done that and more. Hopefully the learning curve of leisure and play is no longer so difficult. 🙂 – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marty, thanks for the compliment! I do think the leisure/play is no longer so difficult. And yes, the “so” still needs to be in there. Old habits and beliefs take a long time to change I’ve discovered. But I can definitely see the change (after 5 years of retirement!).

      Liked by 1 person

  9. You’ve been busy! Very few people will take the time to go as far in depth as you have done with retirement transition, but your writings are helpful to a lot of people.

    Through your blog posts, you have laid bare the messy process of iterative thinking on a number of topics. I think it’s helpful for others to see that it’s not a short, straight line to a particular viewpoint and that review and refinement are important, even after you have reached a conclusion about a particular aspect of your life. I have found that as I get older and experience more, my world view changes over time. It’s probably silly to think that what I believed ten years ago is still fully valid today. It might be, but reviewing and reflecting helps make sure that your beliefs and viewpoints are consistent with your current reality.

    I hope you’ll continue writing as long as you feel inspired to do so.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Bob. I appreciate you saying my writing is helpful to people. And I like your phrase the “messy process of iterative thinking”. I know my viewpoint has definitely been refined on topics like the importance of being and understanding my limiting beliefs. And I fully expect there to be more nonlinear refinement as the years continue. It’s nice to have a platform to share this thinking with folks to help push it forward!

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    1. LOL. The “cringe worthy” ones didn’t get a link here. Yes, we all have them! It was intriguing to also see the ebb and flow of more/less per week. I’m feeling good with the one per week posting right now. And looking back did give me some ideas for posts going forward. And even though it’s not the 1000’s of posts others have… it was pretty impressive to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve been blogging for 12 years, 2 sites and hundreds of posts. I’ve always thought about organizing it into better categories behind the scenes but it seems daunting!!
    Enjoyed the post as usual and am working on one myself about a successful retirement being a healthy one

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This was my second attempt at “organizing”. I added tabs awhile back and am not sure it if helps or not. This was fun as I did create my own list, old school on a word document. At least in most cases I know what the subject of the post is from the title!

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    1. Thanks Donna. It was actually quite interesting looking back and seeing the variety… and also the repetitiveness! I had not ever done a long-look. And yes, it did make me wonder also where I’ll go next!

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  11. Huge congratulations on your 4th anniversary, quite the milestone, Pat! I have appreciated your knowledgeable posts about retirement transition which have helped me along the way with my semi-retirement. My husband and I have put a 2-4 year plan in place so he can completely retire in 3 years, then move out of California. I’m sure I’ll be checking back in to your useful posts!

    Liked by 1 person

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