A Mid-Winter Review

Just like in my early days of retirement transition, I’m dealing with a roller coaster of emotions.  The Big Move was a big change and there are still days when I think, “Oh, we’ll be heading back to Ohio soon.” But we are not. That moment often stops me in my tracks. That feeling of “this is it” is a bit unsettling.

Some days I feel like I’m completely living the retirement lifestyle I’ve envisioned. And other days, I wonder if I’ll ever be the person I want to be. I’m struggling to rebalance doing (my natural tendency) and being (quiet stuff that does soothe my soul). This past week was a more positive balance – few high activity days followed by a couple of super chill days. I’m hoping to keep that balance going!  

While we have done the Florida snowbird visit for a few years, this has been the first year we have been here consistently through the holidays and early winter, or what consists of winter in Florida.  Hubby was happy that the “cold snap” a few weeks ago was only a low in the 40’s instead of single digits and that it lasted only 3 days!  OK, he probably would have liked to not have even that level of coldness. By the first of February, we saw sunny days of 78 with a light breeze. Windows open on Groundhog Day? I am wondering (once again) why I moved down half a closet of heavy winter clothes. And then, cool weather came back. A roller coaster of temperatures might be our new winter expectation!

My mid-winter reflection shows that despite an insanely high COVID resurge, I was able to kick off a number of new Out & About experiences including three items on my long-term bucket list. From trying belly dancing to joining in on a road rally to seeing the manatees in their winter huddle to taking an airboat ride near Everglades National Park, I’ve been doing a lot. Book reading and new recipe cooking have both “suffered” so my tracking lists for the year show 23 New Experiences, 5 Books Read, and 2 New Recipes tried.

I have been taking more photos! So here’s a set for mid-winter reflection, which shows some things I love to do – from beach shell collecting to animal spotting to fun with friends:

And, I am doing a Link-up with Denyse Whelan at her blog for #LifeThisWeek.

How’s your winter going?

26 thoughts on “A Mid-Winter Review

  1. It sounds like you are doing just fine. Don’t overthink it too much or you’ll unnecessarily increase your level of angst. It does take a while to get in the groove in a new location.

    Cincinnati winter was not as much fun as yours. We had an extended run of very cold weather vs. the usual roller coaster situation. We had a heavy sleet storm and the sleet hardened into a thick sheet of ice that was hard to deal with. Despite being careful, I fell twice (once very hard) but fortunately didn’t hit my head or break anything. We had to say goodbye to our Puggle Jack a couple of weeks ago, so that was a downer. Oh, did I mention that I also gained my usual Thanksgiving to Valentines Day 10 pounds? Haha. Other than that, winter has been great! We have remained pretty isolated because Covid was running rampant here until recently. We are hoping that the worst is over, but all we need is another highly contagious variant to emerge and we’ll be right back in it again.

    I have been having a hard time getting motivated to do any woodworking and I’m not sure why considering that I have a backlog of projects. Maybe this week!

    I did take the time to reconfigure my GTD (Getting Things Done) system in Evernote and I’m hoping that will help energize me and enhance my motivation level.

    It is supposed to hit 75 F here today, so spring is on the way and golf can’t be far behind!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bob, nice to hear from you! I do see posts at times on FB, so I do know you continue some of your past-times (cooking and creating the best cocktails).

      It’s been in the 80s here now almost everyday, so winter is long gone. But we will be venturing to Cinci in a few weeks for a wedding.

      I’m not sure if you’ll be intrigued or not with my current series of blog posts. I’m definitely exploring a different space these days!


  2. Lovely to see all the photos of your first full time winter in Florida. Laughing at your “lows” and how your husband didn’t want it that cold! As to retirement – it does indeed take time. And like someone else said — if you are a doer then embrace that. That’s so how I roll and yes it can lead to an imbalance if I go to hard my body and mind tells me to slow down. Good luck with learning “the ropes”. Bernie

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Pat. I love seeing that you’ve been out and about — and the photos are lovely. I can imagine a transition as big as moving to Florida has its ups and downs. Your mention of belly dance lessons took me back. When I was in college, I made friends with a couple that owned a studio and taught belly dance lessons. They gave me some free lessons, which I really enjoyed for a time. As things progressed, I found I surpassed my level of abilities and had to practice more than I wanted to just to keep up enough to not embarrass myself. But it was fun while it lasted.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I took two lessons and realized I did not want to get that much better because the assumption was you would then participate in their “shows”. Not my idea of fun at all. But I did enjoy the two classes. And there are no pictures anywhere!


  4. I remember the day, very close to when we first moved away from Sydney, where I stood at a lookout that I could see my former home city and thought “we aren’t going back there after this, we live here now” because where we moved was a former holiday destination. We moved to a different part of the coast after that and over the now 7 years I still enjoy going back to Sydney – especially to see family – but I do not missed the ‘landlocked’ part where we lived. I love being much closer to water and nature now. However, “my” family is in Sydney and that is where most of my heart lies. Sigh. You are doing so well telling it all as it is!
    Thank you for sharing Your blog post linked for #LifeThisWeek. I look forward to seeing you again when you next link up! Warm wishes. Denyse.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Denyse, I know in time I will totally accept being here. It’s those odd moments that still occur (one again even today). We are heading back to Cincinnati for a visit in March and that will be very interesting, I am sure.


  5. Hi, Pat – Winter in Floridia does sound wonderful! I am glad that you had a week of the balance that you have been seeking. Yesterday, it was 12C (53.6F) on Vancouver Island. I was over the moon!! Deb (Widow Badass) and I were actually able to eat lunch outdoors…on February 7…and undo our jackets because we were too warm! 😀 Sometimes it truly is the small things that brighten our days.
    BTW – Your homemade bread looks awesome!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Donna, the bread making was fun, but it certainly did not make me want to bake regularly! As we sat around waiting for things to rise and then bake, we also calculated the cost of the loaves… and figured we could have gotten bread at one of the best bakeries in town much easier.

      Winter in Florida is something I am still getting used to. But I can definitely appreciate the blue skies even when its cooler – very different than my Ohio Valley gray skies all winter.


  6. I can appreciate how you feel. Change is tough for me too and it takes a while for things to feel right again. But they always do. If doing is who you are, don’t fight it. And while winter is much worse at home, I’m still a little disappointed with this Florida winter!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Now that looks like the retirement I want!!!! Looks like a ton of fun!!!!! Be active – I say all the activity you can. You never know how long you’ll be able to do it. I know you’re in good shape and should be able to get around well for decades but you never know. So do it! Enjoy it!!!! I can’t imagine that you could ever regret doing things! Yay!!!!!!
    And here, BRRRRRRRR! We have ice and snow on the ground and temperatures are in the teens! Be glad you’re where it’s warm. I’m definitely jelly!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pat, I enjoyed this little snippet of your day-to-day life and how you are embracing retirement in Florida. Your awareness and sense of balance will serve you well as you continue to navigate changes and challenges. I have had a bit of a roller-coaster week, but all is well. Back on track and moving forward!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Suzanne, Seeing snippet of life – I get inspired by blogs like yours and your wonderful use of pictures. I will continue to push myself to take more pictures – it is not at all a habit yet!


  9. Hi Pat – lovely to see some photos of your life – although I was looking for the belly dancing one and noticed you didn’t have that in the mix! I think you’re transitioning well into your new lifestyle – it doesn’t happen overnight – but one day you’ll look up and realize that you’re definitely living the dream. There’s always times when we get out of balance, but I just love the freedom retirement has brought with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leanne, quite a few folks asked about the belly dancing picture and my response to all has been, “nope, no way, no how!” It was fun and I have the memories (but no pictures).


      1. We didn’t have any mosquitos! I have heard that it’s pretty miserable in the summer months also. We had a cool and sunny day – perfect first visit weather that made me want to go back.


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