November Musings

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?




20 thoughts on “November Musings

  1. Hi Pat,
    What a great review of where you’ve been and life as you’ve lived it. I loved the part about becoming connected in your new location (FL)…it struck a note with me as I actually wrote about it just today. Making new friends and social connections isn’t always easy. I also loved the advice to “Say YES to everything.” You need to get yourself out there and then decide what feels right for you. By the way, this is the collective you! Just in the process of doing this myself. Last winter was so disjointed in FL that we didn’t really make any firm friends. This year we are more stationary and I’m giving this process some more focus.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nancy, I’m also hoping to solidify some relationships we made last year into a stronger feeling of friendship. I think this just takes time and shared experiences. So that is part of my focus next month. Hope you’ve got plans in place to do that as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Pat, such an interesting post and learning more about how you are navigating this retirement gig! My word of the year was Time and I enjoyed doing monthly wrap up posts focused on the word time. I use everything I read, hear, see as fodder for my blog posts. I love getting comments that make me think outside the square and often things that challenge me make for good posts. Good on you for being so accountable 🙂 #mlstl

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m always intrigued at which part of my random monthly musings people pick up on most! I enjoy other’s variations of monthly summaries as well..and agree with you, it does help us see how everyone is navigating this part of life.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Jennifer, We are near St Petersburg. So about 2 hours depending of which side of Orlando. I’ve found a great deal of enjoyment in trying new things and will continue to do so. I am setting another goal of 101 new things for 2020!


  3. Hi Pat – I love how intentional you are in all that you do – and the fact that it seems to have been so successful for you as you’ve transitioned from being employed to being retired. The fact that you make such an effort to create friendships (online and IRL) speaks buckets about how much you care about connection and I always love reading your posts because you write them in a way that makes me feel like we’re catching up on what’s been going on.
    I have no idea what 2020 holds – but I love the sound of it and that a new decade lies ahead – full of mystery and waiting to unfold. How wonderful it is to be able to step into it without regrets or a sense of “same old/same old” and to be content to watch it unfold. Life’s good isn’t it?
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Leanne, Yes, life is indeed good. Like you, I’ve found a deep sense of contentment in where my life is. But I am also interested in trying new things and growing. Starting a new decade feels quite momentous!


  4. I loved reading this Pat. You’ve done so much to ensure that your life is fulfilled. When I moved to a new area, I said yes to everything. Just for a while until I’d built up a few networks. #MLSTL Will share

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As of this week, I’m now longer counting my retirement in days but in months (two) and I’m working on establishing that balance between un-busy and being both intentional and active (as opposed to just overbooked with activities). I love the idea of a word for the year, although I think I’m going to start with a smaller chunk of time. We head South at the beginning of January to be snowbirds in a community we’ve visited before but never really made an effort to connect. I think Connect will be my word for the winter, following your roadmap for reaching out, planning and enjoying. I’m also getting back to tagging each day with an intention (aka word of the day), much like our yoga teacher announces her intention for each practice. Today my intention is “prepare” – we are having dinner guests tomorrow and I need to focus my day on getting ready.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Liz, Connect is a great word… and if it’s just for 6 months, that is absolutely fine! Tom below has some great advice about saying yes – try whatever folks are offering, join in on things you might not expect to like. Also, reach out to others, even if it’s out of your comfort zone. For me, I found I needed to do more of the planning… others appreciated it and I’m pretty good planner, too. Being the planner also gives you control of what you’re doing! I like your intention word for the day… I might think about using that in my morning journaling!


  6. My brother-in-law and his wife moved to a new town after they retired. So when it came our turn to retire to a new place their advice to us was: Say yes to everything at first, then eventually you’ll find your friends and favorite activities. So that’s what we did, and it’s working out for us. Sounds like you’re doing pretty much the same thing. And I think it helps to have those interesting and worthwhile goals!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tom – it’s good advice! I’m actually looking forward to being in Florida full-time. Yes, there is a lot I will miss (and I know i will grieve some of those losses) but I am trying to be optimistic about the move. And yeah, I found out that it might take us a while to work all the logistics, but it will happen.


  7. Hi Pat! Both/And. I am constantly reading blog posts and other materials of interest and/or listening to tapes or podcasts. I use EVERYTHING to journal and to then write blog posts about. I seldom have any trouble coming up with something to write about…I might not have the time to do it but the ideas are always there. Learning from others and then sharing what is meaningful to me is just what I do. And congrats on realizing everything that works for you! ~Kathy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kathy, I use a lot of what I read as fodder for full blogs as well, but sometimes it’s just a little paragraph like this blog. And yes, I am coming to terms to who I am and what’s working for me…. and really working on not doing the compare & despair. It’s still hard at times… especially when I read such amazing blog posts from other bloggers or see how many followers/commenters they have. Sigh.


  8. You have inspired me!!! I never did yearly goals. Now I’ve done them the past few years. I was just working on my 2020 ones yesterday! Some never come off (lose weight) while others do. Your comments about taking the initiative in making connections helps inspire me. This year I do plan to use my personal blog/journal to record on progress over the year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for letting me know I inspire you! Comments like that make me feel like I won the lottery. 🙂

      I use my journal to capture progress on my goals as well. It’s where my “101 New things tracker” is! Have you explored bullet journals at all? While I don’t do it as they recommend, I did get some good tips about having a daily journal and tracking your goals.


  9. I was energized by a blog post about photos from a camera “roll” being the star of a gratitude post. So I did an A to Z post with my November photos. It was fun and challenging. I missed the X and the Z was from a zoo trip in August but not bad at all!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bernie, what a fun thing to do. I am often inspired by folks photos in gratitudes and tell myself I should take more pictures with my cell phone…. and then never do it. Maybe someday I will work on establishing hat habit, so I have pics to share.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s