With the dog-days-of-summer upon us, I’m taking a slightly different approach with this week’s post. I found a lot of inspirational reading this month on other folk’s blog posts. Here’s a random set of the thoughts this generated for me:
I need to try Podcasts! Jennifer at Next Phase fitness (link here) gave me some inspiration to try podcasts out. I’ve heard about them from others. But still, I’ve never listened to Podcasts. I like to read so tend to pick up a book versus listen to anything. I don’t have commute time to fill nor do I spend time on any workout that would link to listening time. Maybe as I continue to build strength training into a habit, I might try and tap into podcasts. Now to figure out where to start in that space…so many podcasts out there!
Shifting my Look from Work Mode to Retired Mode – A few of my blogging buddies post their “style” moments on line. I’m still trying to figure out my new non-work look. Yes, it’s been 5 years and I still have half a closet of work-based attire. And still, I’m usually in shorts and a T-shirt (remember – it’s summer here for folks in Australia). That look often feels a bit frumpy! I’m thinking of trying one of those clothing stylists (Stitch-Fix is one here in the US) for a couple of months to get some new more stylish everyday non-work outfits! Has anyone tried this?
The Where the Wild Things Were blog (link here) had a bunch of posted notes to improve your mind, body or spirit. This one totally caught me eye: “never hold back from giving a compliment”! Sometimes it’s those little things that can really brighten another person’s day. I totally experienced that the other night as I walked past a woman at the restaurant and she complimented my outfit (with specifics about my necklace and top) – I felt so boosted up! And yes, I had on a “going-out outfit”… I guess I can look not frumpy at times! I’m going to try and give out more compliments to others… as well as continue to boost my own look.
Vision Board update. Jennifer at Unfold and Begin (link here) recently talked about how you should use Vision Boards to activate your vision. This made me re-look at mine; I’ve been using them for a few years and wondered, have I really been activating them? I realized there are a couple of big elements I’m still challenged about:
- “Who do you think you are?” That was a call-out on my most recent board in relationship to my writing. I’m starting to be able to say, “I am a writer”. I write a blog and I’m now a published author. My challenge however, is I’m neither a successful blogger nor a successful author, by societal standards! How much am I willing to do to drive success in either of these ventures?
- Be Active. I am fitter and more active (and happier) than I was 4 years ago. I have my weekly yoga, my biking in Florida, my walk & talks with friends, my get out & about new things tracking, and my recently added strength-training program. But none of these is a BIG active element. I’m not running races, not doing yoga daily, not going on long bike rides, and not setting up a gym program. I’m not mastering any new exercise skills. Coming to terms with my level of activity is still a challenge when I (still) do Compare & Despair with others!
- Foodie Wannabe. I really want to be a foodie. I love to try new restaurants, have a charcuterie board & drink wine on the porch/deck with friends, take cooking classes, and shop at boutique food stores and the farmers market. But we are not eat-out-all-the time people, nor am I a cook-with-lots-of-fresh-ingredients, try-new-recipes cook. Hubby actually cooks more often and it’s really more basic (but still yummy) stuff! Can I really call myself a foodie with this profile?
- Travel adventure. Suzanne at picture retirement (link here) commented on my wellness check-up post about “travel well”. Travel Adventure has also been on every vision board for 5 years! But I have come to realize that travel is a big compromise area at this point. Hubby is definitely a homebody. I traveled extensively while working and have mixed emotions about travel – I love experiencing new things/cultures and seeing new places, but I also stress big time being in crowds or being unable to communicate. I really did think we would travel more in retirement (maybe because it’s one of the retirement societal expectations?), but we are choosing our trips carefully and infrequently. This year our focus has been on learning to exist in two homes. I’m thinking we will do a big trip next year…and am starting to think about where. Plus I’m going to reach out to some women friends who travel without hubbies…they also have homebody hubbies and have linked up to travel together. Maybe that will help me achieve this part of my vision board.
- Big Decision Made – I’m announcing a big new aspect of our retirement life. Hubby really wants to relocate … make our now “second home” the one and only. When we bought it (8 years ago now), I expected it to be second, vacation space… not the permanent-only space. I’ve pushed back on him now for 5 years – I have much more of my “lifestyle” set up in Ohio, my support circle is here in Ohio, I love our downsized house here in Ohio. When his sister passed away 2 years ago, it was a wake-up call…. that I didn’t heed that well. We are spending about 30% of the year in Florida now. Then this year, his younger brother passed away. Now, I’m listening. I need to not put off the things he really wants to do. I would feel devastated if living in Florida full-time never happened for him. So we are going to start house hunting for a “permanent space” in the same location as our second home. We are working through “design requirements” now. This is a very scary decision for me – lots of things to plan out. But I need to keep in mind – Today is someday. I’ve made friends there. I like our active, outdoor lifestyle there. It will all come together when it’s right.
And finally, this is a REQUEST to my blog readers who have purchased and read my book. I’ve recently learned that on-line reviews are the holy grail of book selling. In fact having more, lower star level reviews is actually better than having a few five star levels (which I have received!). So, if you have read my book, could you please go on-line and provide a realistic review? I would really appreciate your time and effort to help me. And if you have not yet purchased – here’s another link for Amazon. Perhaps it’s the perfect gift for a soon to be retired or recently retired friend! 🙂
Picture Credit: Me…. my dog Taylor in the dog days of summer!