Looking forward through the rear-view mirror

Rear View_edited-1

I began this blog almost a year-and-a-half ago, just about 6 months before my retirement date. I’ve always enjoyed writing and I knew I wouldn’t have many opportunities outside of work unless I created them for myself. I subscribed to several blogs so starting my own blog seemed like a great way to do this. Deciding on my blog’s focus was easy; I was headed into a big unknown. I wasn’t sure what my personal retirement would look like – I had some ideas, but no real plan of action – so I wanted to explore the social and psychological aspects of retirement as well as learn from others who had gone before.

Originally, I envisioned writing posts several times a week. I had lots of ideas for topics and I figured spending an hour or two each week writing, formatting, and posting would be easy peasy. Soon, after realizing I was being much too optimistic about the time commitment, I dialed my expectations back to once a week. Now, a couple of posts a month has become the norm.

I still enjoy writing and I still have ideas for topics, but, because the perfect words don’t just flow out of my brain onto the screen, each post takes much longer than it probably appears it should have. I am the queen of edits and re-writes.

WordPress does a lot to encourage regular posts by offering a multitude of tutorials, challenges, and prompts. In addition, established bloggers invite others to join in on photo and writing challenges of their own. Last fall, I took part in WordPress’s Photography 101 challenge. It turned out to be a great way to share my photos of the Hawaiian vacation that coincided with the challenge and I managed to gain more followers because of my participation. Although I think these prompts and challenges can be quite helpful and fun to take part in, I find that, at least for my blog, they can dilute the main message and take the focus off what I want my blog to be about – life in retirement.

I will be celebrating my first retireversary next month and I am pleased to report that it’s going quite well. My husband and I have completed a few house projects, we’ve done some traveling and plan do a lot more, and we are discovering the joys and challenges of spending so much time together and being the masters of our own schedules.

I look forward to continuing this blog and I hope that I can be much more regular with my posts. I really appreciate everyone who stops by to read what I have to say, and I am especially grateful to those who take the time to add comments.

Although my blog is ultimately about retirement and “learning to navigate through my post-work world,” I imagine that it will morph a bit as time goes on, just as my life will change. There is so much to do, creative outlets to explore, and social interactions to enjoy. I want my blog to reflect all of this and more.

Author: Janis @ RetirementallyChallenged.com

My blog is about travel, relationships, photography, and whatever else pops into my head (even, sometimes, issues surrounding retirement and aging).

23 thoughts on “Looking forward through the rear-view mirror”

    1. Thanks, Terri. As long as I enjoy it, I will keep it up. I think one of the best outcomes is “meeting” people from around the country… and globe.

      I’m looking forward to your posts about your summer windsurfing!

  1. Ah yes–retirement…when you do what you want, when you want.

    I think it is great that you share your thoughts when the spirit moves you. Some of the other bloggers are very disciplined and I am in awe of their productivity.

    BUT–blogging isn’t a job–it is a pleasure. And for some bloggers, writing clearly gives them enough pleasure that they are able to create on a very regular basis. (I’m clearly not in that group!)

    I thoroughly enjoy reading my virtual buddies’ thoughts and observations regardless of whether they appear regularly or sporadically!

    1. I too am amazed at those who post great missives on a regular basis. I guess I don’t have the self discipline or the deep well of topic ideas. But, that’s OK. It’s more satisfying for me to write from sporadic inspiration then to write just because I’m scheduled to get out a post that day. That would be work and I left that world a year ago.

  2. My ‘retirement’ blog is not what I originally intended, but I do enjoy it. Just wish I could sit here and blog more…not that I don’t have the time, I just don’t have the drive to put all my thoughts into words. Keep it up and get personal pleasure from what you write.

    1. Retirement presents so many options. All the things I wanted to do “when I have lots of time” are available to me now and I’m finding it hard to pick and choose (certainly not a bad problem to have so I’m not complaining).

      I am enjoying your beautiful photographs of past journeys and your life observations so I’m glad that you are sharing your retirement world too.

    1. You are one of those amazing bloggers who regularly writes thorough, thoughtful and well-written posts. I, on the other hand, struggle to put out 400 – 600 words every few weeks or so. I don’t know how you do it, but I’m glad you do. Thank you for sharing your journey too!

  3. You are the second blogger I have read this morning who wrote along the same lines. When I started my blog (when I retired) I intended to write humorous stories about human resource work as a showcase for possible business writing gigs. That didn’t last long. Now I write for my pleasure about anything and everything. That works for me and makes it fun. As for a schedule, I try to stay with one for self-discipline purposes but I have never attempted to post everyday or make my schedule run my life. There are no blogging police to scold you and blogging as you feel the inspiration assures a better quality of writing.

    1. Thank god there aren’t blogging police… I’d be in the big house for sure! I can tell from what you write that you have a lot of fun doing it. I’m toying with setting up some sort of schedule too. Without the deadlines that I was under at work I tend to get distracted. I’m glad that you are a regular writer… I love getting the updates on your cats, your pond, and your personal relationship with Starbucks.

  4. Congratulations, Janis! I’m with on underestimating the time blogging takes and the difficulty getting thoughts to written post through all my edits. But I’m gkad your retirment is proving to be a fulfilling, creative time. So many choices!!

  5. Hello,

    Michael, my husband and I enjoyed reading your blog and signed up.

    Congratulations – – on your upcoming first anniversary retirement..

    We are retirees from New York City. In 2008, we sold our Manhattan apartment and started our non-stop journey to live and travel in the world. Our goal was to be on all 7 continents.

    We did it in January 2012, leaving Buenos Aires, Argentina on a 32-day cruise to Sydney, Australia which included 3 days in Antarctica. We accomplished our dream – all 7 continents.

    We’ll be celebrating our 7th anniversary living and traveling in the world on May 28th in Kyoto, Japan.

    We don’t have a blog but we have a Google/Picasa photo web album we use for all of our trips that we send to family and friends, mostly in NYC and the States. Also, to many foreign travel pals we’ve met on the road.

    If you don’t mind, I’ll add your name to our list. Please let me know.

    We just arrived in our new home in Kyoto, Japan after living in Bangkok, Thailand for 6 months.
    Have a nice day and a good week.


    Virginia Hess-Zullo and Michael Zullo

    1. Your journey sounds amazing! Please add my name to your list (do you need my email?).

      We’ve often fantasized about renting our house and traveling the world. Who knows, we may take the plunge one of these days.

      Happy trails!

  6. I am new to retirement and new to blogging. I guess I am you 18 months ago! I hope to look at some of your older posts to help me in my transition… and will follow you now to see what my future might look like.

    1. Hi there. Welcome to retirement! It sounds like you did what many other have done/are doing: focus on the money, not so much the social aspect. I am pleased to see another retirement lifestyle blog and will be happy to follow you!

      1. Thanks for following me – you are my first! Also let me know of any other retirement lifestyle blogs you are following. I’ve been searching for ones – it is how I find yours – and would also like to follow some others.

  7. I agree about prompts and challenges. If you’re stuck, they can look like a lifeline, but they can also take you in all sorts of random directions and scatter a blog all over the place.

    1. You are right about prompts and challenges being a lifeline. I just try to pick the (very few) that can be related to my focus. I’ve been on a fairly long dry spell as of late so perhaps I should lower my threshold a bit.

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