My musings usually come from reading other’s blogs or comments made on my own. Here are a few that were sparked in November:
Bucket List Accomplishments
After I blogged about dropping things from a bucket list (link here) and saw the comments, I had the urge to look at my “real” bucket list to see what I’ve accomplished (checked off) since being retired. Also, when I get down on myself (that pesky inner voice that tells me I’m not enough), it’s helpful to look at what I have accomplished! So here are some of the biggies. Since I’ve retired, I’ve checked off from my Bucket List:
- Be Active! I was a couch potato. I had no exercise program. Now I am regularly doing yoga, taking walks, going SUP in season, and biking in Florida. I did Zumba for a few years and am now trying Orange Theory Fitness.
- Become a writer! I write a blog. I regularly write in my journal. And I wrote and published a book. (Link here if you have not gotten it yet, or want to share it with someone as a holiday present!)
- Find New Friends. I’m connected and doing fun things with friends. I started a Foodie Club. I joined a book club (finally). I regularly take cooking and art classes with friends. I go on walk & talks and to midweek movies.
- Be a Foodie. Beyond the Foodie Club and cooking classes, I went to a Cooking Boot camp, regularly explore new restaurants, and regularly shop at fun-foodie boutiques. I’m exploring new recipes (and setting a goal for this next year).
- We took a trip-of-a-lifetime (3 week African Safari), which checked off a bunch of bucket lists items – new continent, new countries, crossed the equator (I stood on it!), hot air balloon ride, glamping (luxury tent camping), and big five wildlife spotting.
- We settled Erin (my SIL) in her new living arrangements and downsized our own home, including new decorating and garden creation.
- Not all bucket list items were a rousing success, but I did them! I learned to ride a motorcycle and got a license. I tried being an antique dealer, tried pottery making, and tried food delivery services. I tried to see the Northern lights – in Iceland. I created an LLC and became a certified life coach.
Even though life should be lived and NOT a check-list, it was very empowering to look at what I have checked off!
Being Active – it’s become part of my identity
A blog post on What is Active from Bob (link here) made me think more about what being active means to me. In that post RickNH used the phrase in a comment: keeping mentally and physically active. Given that pre-retirement I had no exercise program, a limited friends circle (beyond work colleagues), and no hobbies, active for me is everything from daily movement (try with a FitBit, yoga classes, and most recently OTF) to getting out & about with friends and even trying new things. Whether it’s a “walk & talk”, a “whine and wine”, or a new out & about activity to try, I’m defining my own level of active and trying hard not to compare it with others. I track new things and I’ve learned for me it is about engaging in activities not to master them but to enjoy them. Mentally active also includes being an active reader, reflecting and synthesizing what I read, and often crafting those thoughts into a blog post. I also recognize the need to balance doing (active) with being (inactive). I’ve posted both about “being un-busy” and “having a seasonal action plan” – truly the balance of being and doing!
Connections – It’s what I do
I read a couple of pieces about the challenge of losing connections when retiring. I know that I lost 80% of my regular conversation connections – the chats about what’s going on in life, the folks you bounce ideas off. I worked intentionally (and successfully?) to create new connections.
With our upcoming shift in direction, I realized I started working on Florida connection creation last year in our snowbird time. Two months made things much easier to start the beginnings of friendships. Again, it took intentional effort – reaching out to folks to do things with us and making the plans. I did a lot of planning – a couples dinner out, a night at the museum, a food tour, shuffleboard. I asked other women to do things more spontaneously – meet up for wine, go for a bike ride, go to get our nails done, go for a beach walk. I joined a book club. Not everything worked out, but friendships have started. I’ve kept connection with a few folks via text while I’ve been up north and have a few things already planned for this winter.
Our new house is only 1.4 miles from our other place, so I am hoping all the initial connections will continue to grow. And when I’m there full time, I’ll link into more things I’m interested in (local gardening, local theater)…and hopefully find other people with those similar interests.
So, just keep doing what I do in connections – reach out, plan, and enjoy.
A Sense of Security – it’s what I need
Recognizing that as we move on (in Florida), I have a strong need to feel a sense of comfort with a knowledge of the neighborhoods, how to get around, the local foodie scene. I was inspired by this question from Theresa at Fab in your Fifties who said:
“Are you curious about a trendy neighborhood? Take the day and explore. Feed your curiosity and you feed your soul.”
I am searching for Groupon’s to explore new things in the area this winter and hope to add a few to the Winter Seasonal Action Plan.
What do you do when a blog post inspires your thinking? Do you journal about it? Create a blog post of your own?