When Donna offered me the opportunity to participate in her Sunday Blogging Series, I jumped at the chance. I have been following Retirement Reflections for quite a while and I always find her posts smart, thoughtful, and wonderfully engaging. Having the chance to mingle with others who follow her – some who I may not have met yet – sounded like a lovely way to spend a Sunday.
Donna’s goal for her series is to create a forum for Retirement/Lifestyle bloggers to introduce themselves to others who are – or will be soon – enjoying the retired life. Since I had my three-year retireversary just a few weeks ago, I thought it would be interesting to re-introduce myself to my earlier posts and discover what has changed for me over the three years… and what hasn’t.
I started my blog in the fall of 2013, several months before my retirement date. Back then, I was excited but also apprehensive about my upcoming radical change in lifestyle. What will I do all day? Will I be bored? Will my husband and I drive each other crazy? I was leaving a job that paid well and I enjoyed, I didn’t have any great “passion” that I was eager to pursue, and a lot of my friends were still working full-time. Yikes!
I have always enjoyed writing and I knew that I’d need to create my own opportunities once I stopped working. Starting a blog seemed like a good way to continue working on my writing skills, while also engaging with others who may be transitioning into retirement too. When the name Retirementally Challenged popped in my head, it seemed like a good description of my then-conflicted self.
As I started to re-read my pre-retirement posts, with all the angst and “what ifs” I was experiencing, I had an overwhelming desire to reach through my screen and pat my former self on the head with assurances that: “there, there, you’ll be just fine.” I also wanted to smack that same self upside the head and say: “stop overthinking it. You get to NOT WORK. That’s a good thing.”
Then, as I continued to read, I started to notice my post-retirement writing began to take a turn in tone. The posts filled with questions and uncertainties began to fade away, and were replaced by ones extolling the joys of retirement, sharing tales of our travels, and making general life observations. Last year, I started my (almost weekly) GratiTuesday posts to help me focus on maintaining an attitude of gratitude.
I still don’t have what I’d call a great passion but I’m OK with that. As I wrote in an earlier post, I have several “passion-ettes” and they keep me pretty busy. I enjoy photography, my husband and I are having fun traveling, and blogging has not only kept me writing, but has helped forge precious connections – most of them virtual, but some face-to-face – with bloggers around the world. Lately, I’ve started to get the urge to volunteer, find new clubs to join, and maybe even paint again. Who knows, I may add some of those pursuits to my list of “ettes.”
So, does the name of my blog still apply? The challenges I felt leading up to, and in the early part of my retirement, probably are typical for anyone making a big life change. Now, I’m happy to say, the challenges in my life are mostly positive and self-directed. My husband and I are at a sweet-spot in our lives where we have decent health, energy, and enthusiasm. We know we won’t feel like this forever, but we are taking advantage of it for as long as we can.
So, at this point in my journey, I’m still Retirementally Challenged… but in a very good way.
From Retirement Reflections – I have been a long time fan of RetirementallyChallenged. In fact, it is the first blog that I followed full-time when I retired. Janis possesses incredible insight and a wonderfully positive outlook. If you are not already a follower, I highly recommend that you check out her site. I know that you’ll find her affirming nature to be contagious, I definitely do!
Remaining in the same geographical region, up next week is Terri Webster Schrandt. Terri, not yet fully retired, shares with us “Some Days in the Life of an Almost Retired Person.” Again, you’ll find a fresh, energetic take on life that is guaranteed to renew your spirit. See you there!