A Look Back at a Joyful May

I’ve enjoyed reading a number of posts recently where individuals looked back at what was exciting and fun in the preceding month. Some folks look at their picture rolls – but I’m not yet taking pictures regularly! Some look at the gratitude lists – which made me realize I’ve not been that great on that habit recently either. However, I did identify a number of things that really made me happy and grateful in May.

Crafting! I’ve gotten into crafting, which was something on my Possibilities List since day one of retirement. I’ve been playing with different kinds of mediums – up-cycling old glass lampshades I’d saved (and moved!), recycling wine corks into key chains and earrings, playing with beads and wire for swizzle sticks and garden stakes, attempting to make a sun catcher, putting fairy lights into wine bottles with twine & bead & shell decoration, and exploring shell & shark tooth wrapping. I experience such joy when I pull my boxes of craft supplies out to play, and definitely need an outlet for the things I make. One (minor) negative is crafting time means less book reading. Yes, I’m sure folks will recommend audio books! But I’ve never been a good multitasker. I’ve actually started listening to music while I craft – new for me.

Cardio Drumming! This is a new activity for me and I am really loving it. I leave class smiling (and sweaty!). This activity has been added to my weekly movement plan along with continuing to do random beach walks, weekly beach yoga, and weekly Zoom Zumba. While May saw me do a Black History Bike Tour, biking time needs to be boosted (although we’re getting into really hot weather now!). But Cardio Drumming is definitely staying on the to-do list.

More time in Nature! This month I watched the lunar eclipse (blood moon) and saw the green flash at sunset on the beach – for the first time ever! Neither picture came out though. I do spend lots of time outside looking at our view (still loving it) and puttering in the garden. Yes, I do find fulfillment in pulling weeds and watering plants; I even volunteered at the Garden Club clean up day.

New Experiences! It’s been a full month for fun experiences including two museum visits, a number of new restaurants dining out, the annual neighborhood beach party, plus a Fun with Friends bowling adventure and unfortunately rained on shuffleboard evening. I’ve also been more intent in planning, executing, and enjoying dates with my hubby which included a few new experiences including seeing the mermaids at Weeki Watchi and exploring Tampa Riverwalk – both on my long term to-do lists!

Intentional Connections! Looking back it was lovely to see all the friends connects I had this past month- visits with out of town friends L&A and C&D, a leisurely boat ride with LP, book club & ladies club gatherings, and lots of long distance friend chats some of which I did as beach walks.

When I look back at this past month of May, completing our first full year as Floridians, it makes me smile. There was so much joy!

Picture: some of my recycled corks into key chains crafting

22 thoughts on “A Look Back at a Joyful May

  1. So proud that you have begun and are enjoying crafting. Your corks are adorable fun. Would love to have a cork keychain. I have been saving corks for a cork holder I don’t have. Maybe I could make a keychain with one of mine.

    I can relate to struggling to listen to books and do anything else at the same time. I can listen and drive, listen and walk, listen and run but that’s about it. I have had Covid and have allowed myself to read during the day while I recover. Never would have just sat down and read during the day otherwise. I always feel guilty for reading. Like I need to be doing something else instead.

    Being outside is enjoyable for me, too. Hoping to plant a little garden with my granddaughters as soon as I am out of quarantine. Will have to slowly get back to exercising. The cardio drumming sounds like a great way to make exercise more fun. A friend is teaching a similar class at our local rec center. She has invited me to try it out but LIFE. Maybe this summer, I can finally go.

    Anyway, bravo to you!! Looks like you are embracing life these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leslie, So sorry to hear you got Covid. I truly believe it’s just a matter of time til we all get it, even vaxxed and boosted. Luckily, being vaxxed & boosted means only feeling bad and quarantining… not hospitalization and fear of death. Hope you’re back to feeling good soon.

      The challenge with making cork key chains is getting all the components – the corks are the easy part! I bought everything in bulk (amazon!) so each key chain costs only about $.50 to make. But all the stuff cost me over $125! (Eye screws, rondelles, charms, jump rings, key rings). I’m making lots of them and hoping to sell some at an upcoming fair, but it’s $25 a table to be there and not sure they’ll sell. Another $25 out of pocket for this crafting hobby?

      If you can try cardio drumming, do. I’ve really enjoyed it & it’s a great workout.


  2. Reading about your joyful May made me smile, Pat. I recently saw the green flash at sunset for the first time as well. So cool. And I’ve never heard of cardio drumming, but it sounds great. Here’s to a joyful June!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations on the first year. Look at all you have been doing and learning about. Love that crafting is enjoyable. I admit I need to use my hands more than I realise so cutting, and pasting and making some pages in my blank art books has been fun. Really enjoy your stories about retirement!

    Thank you so much for linking up your blog post for Life’s Stories this week.

    As you probably know, the last link up date here on Denyse Whelan Blogs is Monday 20 June 2022.

    I do hope to see your post there too. Of course, if you cannot link up, I so understand and want to thank you for the support of my blog and the link up over the years.

    Warm wishes, and take care.



    1. I will miss your link-up when it’s gone, but I recognize that your need to move on. I’m visiting my mom and really don’t know if I’ll have time for a post Jun 20! My miss is no reflection on my enjoying the connection.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Tracey – It is a blast. I think, like all of these kind of things, a lot depends on who is leading the session. The coaches at the sessions I’ve been to are all so positive. I leave every session smiling!


  4. I knew you’d get there!!! And I’m so happy that you have!!! A Floridian!!! A retired Floridian!!! Yay. I bet you’re going to soooooo many things to do that you’re going to have to start picking and choosing which really work for you. I love the whole cardio drumming thing – how fun! Enjoy it all, I know you will!
    We just went to the Summerfair and it was everything it used to be. Great artists and so much fun to see it all! That’s one of the things that I love about retirement. During my working life, I might have gone but I would have felt rushed (I think I pretty much felt rushed all the time) but this time I got to leisurely enjoy it, not at all worried about the time or what else I should be doing. I’m also setting up a flower arranging thing and that caligraphy thing I talked about. Could I become the new you?????? Probably not, but I’m going to try to at least channel a little of my inner Pat!
    Here’s to a fabulous summer!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Candyse – Yeah for setting up some things! I’m guessing you’re gonna LOVE flower arranging! I miss SummerFair. We went every year and I loved it. The craft shows here are good, but SummerFair is excellent. I just booked a Rays game with friends – LOL! It’ll be fun even though I’m not at all into baseball. Still trying to think what else to do this summer myself…. lots of folks flee the heat so it will be much quieter in another month. I’m going to try and keep the joy coming though.


  5. I know what you mean about less time for reading. When you add something to your day, something has to go away. It was reading for me too. However, since it’s warmer and we have comfy deck furniture, I’ve been reading outside some afternoons. I’ve missed that. I’m glad you’ve found some crafting projects. It always feels good to make something!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I realized I’m also doing more crossword puzzles. One of my free crossword sites indicated that I need to subscribe ($) in the near future in order to continue, so I searched out new free sites and found 2. So now I’m doing 3 puzzles a day instead of 1 – LOL. Yeah, I’m gonna keep using the one site until they kick me out for not subscribing. ( It’s still the more challenging of the three.) So two things have hit my reading time… but yes, like you I enjoy sitting outside and reading!


    1. Deb – Cardio Drumming is a blast. I think it’s been around here for a few years. I think part of its charm for me is it’s easy for me to get there (literally within a mile of my home) and the positive energy of the coaching staff. Plus an amazing workout… which I can really use.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Pat – I’m so glad you’re feeling settled and connected – I know that was a concern for you at the beginning, so it’s good to know that you’re feeling at home now. I love all your crafting – you need to take some with you to your various classes and offer them for free – little random gifts of kindness to share your talent and bring a little bit of joy to others. I don’t listen to books or podcasts when I’m crafting – only when I’m doing something more “mindless” like colouring or jigsaws.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leanne, A great idea on taking them to classes and club meetings. I’ve given them away as hostess gifts, holiday gifts, etc. I met a woman a couple of months ago who made jewelry and whenever someone sincerely complimented her on a piece she was wearing that she had made, she gave it to them! Might start thinking about that too… you made me recall her! Great thoughts – thanks.


    1. Janis – I’ve heard about the green flash for years and never saw one… so it was very exciting. Good to know almost impossible to catch on camera. And I thought it was time for a happy post!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Pat! I’m loving your list of things that have brought you joy during May as so many of them I can very much relate to. Being in nature brings me joy, crafting and creativity brings me joy, friendships and connections brings me joy! So let’s do more it all during June! Have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Min – I am going to keep the joy going! I had a couple of things last week that started to bring me down and this look back at all the things that bring me joy really boosted my mood back up. So, gonna keep doing every one of them in June.


  8. Glad you are loving life in Florida. Must confess, my book reading really tanked after taking up knitting. Now I only “read” via audiobooks and I only do that so that I can continue to participate in book clubs. I do “kinda” miss reading, but I much prefer knitting.

    Liked by 1 person

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