End of the Month Musings

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!

37 thoughts on “End of the Month Musings

  1. Thank you, Pat, for sharing your insights from the month. Good luck on your relocation. Working out what’s best for you and your spouse is sometimes a tricky process. I’m looking forward to following your adventure. While my husband and I want many of the same things out of retirement, we each have our own ideas too that don’t line up perfectly. It will be interesting to see how we work them out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Christie, There’s been a bit more compromise that I expected. Even though we had been happily married for 20+ years, there was quite a bit of difference in our retirement lifestyle visions. (i’m a planner, he is not. I like to have lots of things going on, including going out & about. He’s a homebody.) But we have both been willing to compromise. In fact, even though I’ve known for 5 years that he wants to move permanently to Florida, he never mentioned it after we compromised to it being “someday” because of my worries and fears. He let me decide when I was ready… and never pressured me about it! I think you will find your own compromises. I call it the you/me/we planning.

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  2. Hi Pat! Wow! Just getting around to reading your post and you’ve certainly covered a lot of ground here. (and one I am guessing many of us can relate to as well!) About the only one I DIDN’T have an issue with is transitioning from work to casual clothing. As a self-employed person my entire life who lives (mostly) in the desert southwest where it is extremely casual, I never had to give up work outfits. I have many what is called “desert casual” outfits and maybe one “fancy” outfit but that’s it. And yes, it took me YEARS to start calling myself a “writer” but now after six published books, and at age 64, and even a free-lance writing business that supported my family for a couple of years in there, I finally do. It was a “mind-shift” more than any particular out-picturing. And yes, I do call myself a “foodie” just because I appreciate good, interesting and a variety of food. IMHO that’s all it takes. (Mainly because I’ve met so many who don’t seem to really care about good food!) And finally, finding a “rightsized” place to travel AND live. As we chatted about on my blog, it REALLY helps when you and your husband are on the same page, but I think what is critical is for you both to TALK about it and find your middle ground. There is certainly never one right way to do it, but I LOVE t-charts and use them alot. (probably more than vision boards!!!) You will find your way. Be patient and try to have fun along the way. After all, none of us are getting out alive!!!! ~Kathy

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    1. Kathy, I think I’m going to try some affirmations. Yes, I am a writer. Yes, I am a foodie. Yes, I dress well? OK, maybe that last one needs work. But I just bought some leggings and tunics for fall…yes, leggings! So we will see. And the move to Florida will put me closer to those fellow female travelers…so perhaps this will all work out the way it is supposed to!

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  3. Hi Pat, this was a fun and interesting read, so thanks for sharing these musings! I also am not a podcast person, although I should be, I admit it! It’s another way to gather information and learn. You really do have a style, even if it’s very casual…it’s a matter of putting an identity to it. I used Stitch Fix for several months and it can be helpful and lots of fun, just be sure to give specific feedback to your stylist. I hope your Florida adventure goes well; it’s a huge decision to make that move full-time. I lived in SW Florida for 13 years and worked with many people who made the same transition. It really is a wonderful place to live! #MLSTL

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  4. Hi Pat, I’ve discovered podcasts through my daughter and find them very convenient to listen to when I drive to Brisbane (1 hour). We have recently moved to our apartment on the Gold Coast and although I love it here by the ocean it means I am no longer 10 minutes away from my family. I still go to Brisbane twice a week but it is difficult as I feel I’m in limbo at the moment. Living here on the Coast and loving it but really having my ‘life’ in Brisbane. Perhaps you should ‘test the waters’ in Florida first. As always I enjoy reading your blog because you offer something valuable in each post. Enjoy your week and thanks for sharing at #MLSTL. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sue, I think our testing the water was last year’s snow-bird adventure. And I did enjoy it and am looking forward to our visit next month. We don’t have close family we are leaving in Ohio. Friends, yes. But a close friend just moved overseas for a 2-3 year assignment. And I can’t predict what others might do as they begin to retire… some have started to talk about moving closer to their kids. I know there will be challenges, but it does feel right.

      Do you have a favorite podcast?

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  5. Hi Pat, when you figure out the clothes thing, let me know. That is a work in progress for me as well. I have two levels of clothes- crappy, as in I can paint in them or wear them to the gym, or dressed up for work. Neither is appropriate for me most of the time.

    I sense your hesitation for moving to Florida full time. 25 years ago, my husband wanted to move to his grandparents farm. I resisted, but finally gave in. He had 20 good years there. Then he agreed to move back to the city a few years ago. Now we are enjoying all the things a city has to offer us. It is a big leap either way. Choose the right place and the right house, don’t just settle. Make it big enough that your Ohio friends can visit you. They will be glad of a long weekend away in Florida come winter and you will get to see them!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michele, I smiled at your “crappy” description. I just ordered some legging and tunics for fall. Will see about this shift. I know… leggings?

      As far as choosing place… I think we are both willing to wait for the right house. We are pretty confident in some of our requirements, for both of us to be happy. Not sure the “big enough for visitors” makes the cut though…we want close to beach and waterfront (on the inter-coastal) which puts lots of $$ on the requirements before we even talk number of bedrooms! Local friend development has been a key thing for me. Last winter snow-bird helped hugely for this.

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  6. You’ve written a book – you are a successful author! So many people talk about writing a book, or say “one day I’ll do that” as if it’s the easiest thing in the world. It isn’t, and you’ve done it! I loved your thoughts on what now in retirement. You’re so right about having more time to oneself to exercise and get out there, but also I find that getting out there isn’t always what I want to do. I do love small amounts of exercise, but it’s not my be all and end all. I think finding purpose in retirement is probably the thing we all need to do most of all – something which even if we live to the age of 90 and beyond we can still dream about, build on and enjoy. For us, well it’s probably writing, or blogging – even if it’s not for any monetary gain at all! #MLSTL and Shared on SM

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Jo. In my brain I know that getting a book written and taking the initiative to publish it is a huge thing. But then I go to a webinar and they tell me “there are millions of books published every year… and most are not successful.” It hits you in the heart, not the brain. You are right about how many folks talk about it and don’t do it… if they all did then there would be billions of books published! LOL. Like you’re aware, I have come to think writing and blogging is part of my life purpose (at the moment), so I’m taking the time to appreciate the process of it more and more.

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  7. Hi Pat – well that was a huge lot of stuff you have going on atm! As far as podcasts go, I’ve just discovered them recently too and I listen to a Christian one that I’m really enjoying – finding the right time is the issue for me too – now I listen to one when I’m doing a jigsaw, colouring in, or playing a card game online – two different parts of my brain so win/win!
    And I get what you’re saying about “successful” blogging and writing – it always seems to come back to the $$$ doesn’t it? Moving away from that mindset is so hard, but as I move away from it in letting my ‘successful working woman’ go, I’m making sure I don’t then turn that definition onto my blog. Selling my blogging soul for an income would be so sad and I personally don’t enjoy reading blogs that are selling the “how to blog for bucks” dream or ones full of sponsored posts, pop up ads, Amazon affiliates etc etc – they seem to have lost the warmth that hobby blogging holds. Your blogging is so real and so “you” and that’s what I think makes it a success.
    As far as the move to Florida goes, maybe you need your 1st home there and your 2nd (holiday) home in Ohio – that way you could swap your 30% holiday time to visit old friends while you keep your husband happy and settled in Florida? Good luck with it all – I imagine it’s a big challenge in the making, but one you ultimately won’t regret. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leanne, Thanks so much for saying the my blog is real and “so you”. It made me smile. I sometimes think I’m too honest with things… but that is me. I’ve always been a “heart on the sleeve” no poker face kinda girl. And yeah, the “successful author” came down to money… selling more books.
      It’s so hard to let go of the old what-is-success mindset!

      I tend to color while watching TV with hubby. (There are a few shows we both do like.) So I’m thinking of linking podcasts to my (renewed) strength training I want to do. I do want to continue to feel OK going up and down stairs, lifting groceries from the car, and get up off of sitting on the floor… and decided that I need to start doing some more specific strength training. I will see how both of those things go this coming month! New habit formation.

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      1. Strength training is something I need to do more of too Pat. I do a little bit at my exercise class each week, but could definitely take it up several notches – I just need to get more motivated. Maybe the warmer weather will inspire me??
        Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Two thought provoking blog entries in a row and I am woefully behind in reading, contemplating, integrating into my own plans – indeed I’m woefully behind generally, a concept that I plan to get over for my new un-busy life. A few random reactions: I love podcasts – favorites are Modern Love from The NY Times, The Moth, Phoebe Judge on Criminal, and so many more. My usual listening time – in the car commuting to work – is going away with retirement, so I need to curate my selections and rethink my listening habits. I also want to do more music to accompany tidying the house, prepping dinner, puttering around, so will soon need to wade into the world of Spotify, Amazon Music, Pandora and playlists.
    I started to move away from traditional “work clothes” in recent years, although I still clung to the professional dress ethic of earlier generations (I’m not wearing jeans to the office, no matter what). My go-to retired look centers around an infinite variety of black pants (from yoga pants to LL Bean casual to Eileen Fisher) and comfy flats (Rothy’s and Allbirds have replaced the heels and kitten heels of my work life). I’m afraid that with Stitch-Fix and similar services I’d end up with pieces that I would keep but wouldn’t wear again. I do get great fun from picking up interesting, inexpensive necklaces on our travels; they add a splash of color to my color palette of black, ebony and charcoal and provide a story to tell.
    Of course you are a foodie. “Charcuterie and wine on the deck with friends” is the definition of a foodie. And a clever foodie has a husband who does most of the cooking.
    Do link up with your women friends who love travel. Traveling with friends, with or without our significant others, is great. Last summer I did a bucket list trip to the South of France for a cooking class with a friend; several years ago my college roommate and I took her two adult daughters to Paris; this winter two friends and I went to NYC for the Westminster Kennel Club show, even daring an Airbnb in NYC; this spring we both joined long time friends for a 10-day visit to New Orleans. My favorite template is an Airbnb or VRBO rental with a Keurig coffee maker, plenty of space and bathrooms, a kitchen and an outdoor space for that charcuterie and wine.
    Like I said, thought-provoking blogs. Thanks so much for sharing your retirement journey with us. You have been of infinite help to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Liz, I’ve jotted down those podcasts to try out. I am hoping to start up strength training again (after completing some miner surgery recovery that feels like it’s taking soooo long) and plan on linking podcast listening to that. I actually love Rothy’s shoes and find they are my go to ones more and more. Today I actually put on slim black jeans, a super cute T, and my Rothy’s… and did not feel frumpy! I need to jettison the old work clothes, the frumpy T-shirts, and get some more slimming pants (maybe I should check our Eileen Fisher) and Rothy flats (Cherry red are my next purchase!) All your girlfriend trips sound amazing – I will be working on that life aspect moving forward.

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  9. I struggle too with some of this. I’ve published 4 books now, it will be 6 by the end of this year but I’m not successful in commercial terms – and won’t consider myself so until writing income replaces corporate income. Having said that, all have been received well so I suppose I am successful. Then there’s the marketing. I’m shocking at it, never ask for reviews & don’t capitalise on what I should be capitalising on. Oh, and re your foodie stuff, I experiment a lot, as you’d know from my blogs, but these days try new things out by putting themes into a bowl and drawing them out. I’m learning more & we’ve had a lot of hits & only a few misses.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jo, I love your personal & measurable goal of income generation to replace corporate income. My personal goal is actually to sell enough books to pay for the self-publishing costs I’ve invested. No positive income there at all – hence my post awhile back about “Not Being in it for the Money”.

      I took a webinar about “how to go from being an author to a being a successful author”. If/when I type up my notes… maybe it’ll be a blog post. But it would be more in the line of “this is the plan I’m not comfortable really implementing”.

      I love how you experiment with food! I was so proud of myself this week for replicating at home a recipe from a cooking class I took. Small steps.

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      1. Small steps, but steps nevertheless. At the moment my day job subsidises my publishing – and it needs to be self-sufficient & fund the lifestyle I wish to remain accustomed to lol.

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  10. Haven’t yet commented on your blog, but as a reformed over-thinker myself, I say go get yourself a full time house in Florida, and never look back. And yes, you ARE a foodie! Love the blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So happy to hear your voice! And nice to know you read my blog! (I often only learn people read it when they mention things to me I’ve said in the blog!)

      We are starting the house hunting on-the-ground next month. I’m expecting it might take a while as our requirements are pretty specific… but our realtor shared past year sales and 2-3 fit our requirements. Just nothing at the exact moment.

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  11. Wait — what defines a successful writer? You write; you’ve published a book, have a huge interactive blog following. Why isn’t that successful? Did you have a goal to be on some top 10 list? I personally would say you are very successful.
    The book is on my radar, still struggling with the whole on line purchase but will bit the bullet one day and for sure will do a review. I know how important they are.
    Bernie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Bernie. I love your challenge. Thanks for that!

      I took a webinar about becoming a successful author – basically it was “how to go from being an author to a being a successful author”. Yup, there is a difference. And, it’s about book sales. And yes, making the best seller lists. There were 10 Things to Do To in that webinar. I’m really struggling with how I could comfortably do many of the10. But, asking for reviews was one I could do. 🙂

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  12. I love to listen to podcasts! One of my favorite ones (This American Life) lasts one hour, which is the length of my neighborhood walk. I need to find others, though, since I go through them too fast.

    Regarding being a “foodie”… why the heck can’t you call yourself one? Is there an official definition somewhere that you don’t live up to? I’m pretty sure it can be whatever you want it to be. If you love food, and exploring new tastes, then you are a foodie.

    Oh, and exciting news about a potential move! I think you are smart to listen to your husband’s dreams and grab onto it while you can. Like Nancy said, you can always adjust as you go along.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janis, one of the reason to put the move “out here” is to continue to gain confidence in doing it. There’s a lot of planning that is needed – from his sister’s caregiving to new doctors, banks, etc. But I’m starting to tell myself when we find the right place, everything else will also fall into place.

      Yes, my Compare & Despair raises its head on things like calling myself a Foodie, a successful author, or even a successful blogger at times! I do think there are “official definitions” LOL… or maybe my own perception of societies expectations. Thanks for helping me realize, I am a Foodie! I do love food, love to explore new places, and even love to know about food trends! I’ve been known to do Yelp reviews of restaurants and tried to (unsuccessfully) write food articles for local magazines. I don’t need to take food pictures, visit the famers market every week, or become a gourmet cook.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Donna, I’ve found that sometimes, a full-up post just isn’t happening on a topic… so you get these ramblings. I’m working on my new identity statement also…. Designated planner, Over-thinker, unsuccessful yet published author, and will add foodie… needs an adjective though! 🙂

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      1. I laughed at the famished foodie. While I love alliteration, when I’m famished I overeat! So maybe fearless… I did try eating a pig’s eye when we went to a pig’s head roast last year. Yup, tried it and will not do that again – the eye, not the general pig-head roast, which was actually quite fun (if you’re OK with eating meat).

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  13. Lowering my head in shame here, Pat. I not only bought your book (Kindle version), but even made some notes in advance of writing up some short comments on Goodreads (but I’m happy to Amazon if that helps). And then… and then… I simply forgot to do it! No excuses other than forgetfulness. I will elevate this on my list of things to do in the coming week.

    I got into podcasts in a big way to listen during my gym workouts. I slowly stopped following most of them, but I remain faithful to the Fareed Zakaria’s audio podcast of his Sunday morning CNN show. – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marty, LOL…. it’s kinda why I put the nudge in my post. I went to a webinar about book promotion… “10 things to do to become a best-selling author”. I’m only comfortable with doing maybe 2 or 3! Which means I will not become a best-selling author. But I would appreciate the review… where-ever you feel most comfortable doing it on-line. (BTW – I’ve learned I cannot directly ask for an Amazon review… it’s against their policy!)

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi Pat,
    Guess I’ve been distracted lately, and realized with your post that I hadn’t (yet) bought your book…it’s in my kindle now and as soon as I have a chance I will review it for you as well! But, being exposed to your info and writing for a while now I’m sure it is awesome!
    Hmmm…a permanent move to FL. I get it totally, especially from your husband’s perspective. Life is precious and tomorrow is not promised. Do it while you can and if you are able. And if it’s not working out or you change your mind, you can do something else. Nothing is set in stone or irreversible.
    XXXooo

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nancy, Part of putting the move “out there” is getting more comfortable with the decision. There is a lot of planning needed also (I’m primary caretaker for his SIL… will need to plan that change!). But the “tomorrow is not promised” really hit home this summer. Oh, and the reminder about the book is part of my promotion plan…. I listened to a webinar and have specific next steps to take for promoting the book – A few of the 10 recommended steps that I feel OK doing.

      Liked by 1 person

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