GratiTuesday Guest Post: Bloggers Who Inspire

Guest post by Marty, Snakes in the Grass

Many thanks to Janis for inviting me to guest blog on her GratiTuesday series. To my regular readers who’ve followed me over here today, I do recommend that you check out her blog on a regular basis. Janis took the retirement plunge around the same time as me. Her posts are all about making that transition in as graceful and enjoyable way as possible.

In trying to figure out how I could submit something meaningful here, I have to admit that I was momentarily bereft of ideas. In fact, my first thought after agreeing to participate was to immediately think about my own struggles when writing about gratitude.

Each year during the week of Thanksgiving, I write a post on my blog where I give a listing from A-Z of all the things in my life that make me feel grateful. It’s an arduous undertaking because not only have I put myself into a position of having to come up with 26 items, but I also need to be watchful to not repeat too much of what I used previously. For instance, I seem to regularly blank out with the letter Q. Realizing that I can’t list the Who album “Quadrophenia” each time, last year I simply left it blank and pleaded with my readers to offer up their own suggestions. The lesson here is the same one I learned in 30+ years of government service: if you can’t do it yourself, contract out the work!

Some of us, though, just have a way of a better way of expressing themselves. Take Janis, for instance. Back on the April 17th tax day, she wrote a great post which singles out the virtues of how her tax money is spent. My first reaction after reading it was unmitigated jealousy because I hadn’t thought of writing it first. But my second reaction was admiration and even… <wait for it>gratitude that in this era of antigovernment, anti-progressive fervor, she had the tenacity to say what so many of us are thinking.

[Unsolicited advice to prospective guest-bloggers: always suck up to the host blogger. It ensures you’ll be asked back in the future.]

Which at last brings me to my point: other than finally having the time to read big, huge books I mostly avoided during my working years, I really had no retirement “bucket list.” The one desire I did have, however, was to write whatever entered my head and post it to a blog I could call my own. After doing just that, I came into regular contact with other bloggers whom I now choose to believe are my new colleagues — except we don’t get on each other’s nerves, and to my knowledge none of us ever forgets to wipe down the microwave after using it.

The bloggers I follow here on WordPress bring me unique perspectives, plus glimpses into their struggles and life experiences. They are at times utterly hilarious when sharing the foibles and calamities we all occasionally face; fascinating with recollections of earlier years; heartbreaking when providing us a front row seat into the challenges they face; and admirable because of just how gifted and talented some people are as writers. Please click on each of these links to see what I’m talking about.

So, here’s to all you bloggers who inspire me regularly. I am very grateful.

From Janis:

Thank you, Marty, for sharing your GratiTuesday guest post with us! I, too, am grateful for all the fabulous bloggers whose posts I read on a regular basis, including yours. And, yes, you are invited back as a guest writer anytime 😉 !

For those of you who haven’t yet discovered Marty’s blog, I encourage you to check it out. Although some serious content appears every now-and-then, his great sense of humor always shines through.

Please stop by next Tuesday when Christie from So What? Now What? shares her gratitude.

Author: Janis @

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

75 thoughts on “GratiTuesday Guest Post: Bloggers Who Inspire”

  1. Your great sense of humor shines through your post, Marty. I made a mental note to read your blog with paper towels handy in case your post makes me laugh suddenly and I’ll be spilling my coffee. Thank you for the suggested list of bloggers. I’ve been following Janis and Donna. Now I have more blogs to visit and be inspired. Thanks, Janis, for featuring Marty here.

    1. Hi Natalie! Thanks for the heads up about your comment. It was stuck in moderation. Oh how I wish I could give a free pass to your comments, as well as those of several others who comment regularly. Sorry about the hassle! I know that you will enjoy following Marty’s blog (at least when he comes back from his summer vacation 🙂).

  2. Hey Marty! You got me at ‘quadrophenia’ I remember the quadrophonic music rage – Imagine, 4 speakers from the ‘stereo’ blaring out music – that and The Who! Who could go wrong with that??? (yes, pun intended)
    Thanks, Janis for introducing us to her.

    1. Hi, Laura. Yes indeed, I do recall that whole phase with quadrophonic sound, especially those “joy stick” balancers, which I guess somehow got passed the double entendre censors of my youth. Oh, and I’m a dude not a “her” but I’ll still take that as a compliment. 🙂 Many thanks for reading!

  3. This is a fun post. Easy to see Marty’s sense of humor, a trait I admire in a lot of your posts Janis. I’m about to hit that ‘follow’ button!!
    🔹 Ginger 🔹

  4. I am convinced that I know my blogging friends better than my neighbors. It’s always fun to see what others are doing and very gratifying!

  5. So enjoyed reading your post. Meeting so many wonderful people through blogging has been one of the best surprises through writing. Will definitely pop over to visit your blog as well as the others you have highlighted.

    1. Absolutely, Lynn. For me I think it’s been an unintended benefit of blogging. I had always seen it as a very personal and solo pursuit, which in most ways it is. But it doesn’t have to be. The camaraderie with other bloggers is what I particularly like. Thanks for reading!

  6. This piece confirms everything that I love about quality Guests Posts. They take you to places that you could have otherwise never gone on your own. While reading, I clicked on the links in order and was sent on an amazing journey. Thank you, Marty, for introducing us to ‘Exile on Pain Street’, ‘Does It Count If My Fingers Were Crossed’ and ‘Extra Dry Martini.’ You’re right — they are VERY engaging reads. And thank you for the shout out to my husband’s Guest Post on my site. That was a delightful surprise!
    I am beginning my 5-week Technology Break this Saturday (all pull factors, no push). Posts like this guarantee that I will be back on time as promised!
    Thank you, Janis, for this inspiring series.

    1. Richard’s post was really a wonderful surprise, Donna. He has this wonderful dry and mischievous sense of humor that plays both for and against YOU so well. Obviously a great couple. 🙂

      Enjoy your break!

  7. Hi Marty (and Janis!) And nice to meet you Marty…I don’t think our paths have crossed yet but it sounds like you are friends of many of my friends–so that makes you my friend too! And I love the idea of doing an A-Z on Gratitude, I hadn’t thought of that one before so that’s likely what I’ll be doing come November. I am not in the retirement camp along with many of you just yet….I call my present state “semi-retired” but I do enjoy hearing about how people spend their “quality” time and ways they are enjoying life so I’ll be checking out your blog. ~Kathy

    1. Kathy, nice to meet you also! Just don’t say I didn’t warn you ahead of time about the A-Z on gratitude. It’s not so bad the first year, but after that it’s challenging. Sometimes I think I’m “semi-retired” too because I do have a part-time job (albeit only one day a week), and I’m not yet drawing from Social Security. But these are nit-piks, I suppose. All I know is that I’m over the daily 9-5 thing, so that counts for something.

      Thanks so much for reading!

    2. I love the A – Z list too. Maybe if I start thinking of things now, I can figure out what the heck to use for Q, X and Z by November. I think that you will enjoy Marty’s blog. I love his sense of humor and his unique – and uniquely male – perspective on life.

  8. Hi Marty – nice to see you over at Janis’ place 🙂

    Discovering blogging after I retired has been the best. Like Kate said, I know my blogging friends much better than any of my neighbours and on those occasions I’ve had a chance to meet one in the *real* world, it’s like connecting with a long time friend.

    1. Hi, Joanne. Many thanks for your right-on observation. I think more than anything blogging was responsible for the healthiest way to transition once I retired. It’s provided a community of sorts with other like-minded people who are now long distant friends. What’s not to like?!

  9. Hi Marty, glad to see you on my San Diego blogger friend Janis’ site today! I admire those who can post for those A-Z challenges. I just stopped by your blog and see that you are on a break! Enjoy your summer!

    1. Hi, Terri. Many thanks for reading my guest post here +stopping by my own blog too. I’m a former Californian (Fresno) who misses the Golden State, especially during hurricane season here in Florida! 🙂

    2. I guess a few bloggers will be taking a summer break. I will miss them, just like I missed your posts while you were finishing up school, Terri. The key is to make sure everyone comes back to the blogosphere.

  10. Hi Marty, Good to see you over here, and enjoy your break. I love the idea that my blogging buddies are my new “colleagues” on this project we call retirement. It’s true in many ways – the support we get, the camaraderie, the answers to the question on Q.

    I’m in FL at the moment – other coast… and wow, I did not expect August heat in June! Not that I can complain too much when the beach is 2 blocks away. It’s so hot, all I seem to be doing is sitting under an umbrella, listening to the surf, and reading. Life is grand.

    1. Hi Pat! Glad to know that you are safe and sound in Florida! Even though it’s hotter than you expected, sitting under an umbrella, listening to the surf, and reading sounds pretty good to me! Just watch out for the alligators (or, are they crocodiles… I can’t keep em straight)!

      1. Janis – Alligators. But we’re on an island and they don’t like salt water, so not an issue for us. But it was 97 in the shade the other day…today we just stayed inside (after morning chores and food shopping). I think a walk after the sun sets and it’s only 85 degrees outside is the plan today!

  11. Hi Marty great to meet you and I agree the connections between bloggers is such a special friendship and one of the most valuable reasons for blogging. I’ll be over to check out your website. Thanks Janis for introducing me to Marty and have a great week!
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond

    1. Hi Sue! The connections I’ve created through blogging are some of the best experiences of my retirement. How else could l have met so many interesting people (like you) all over the world… no travel necessary?

      1. Totally agree Janis. I’ve met so many wonderful women Over 50 who are really teaching me so much about life in retirement. I admire all of my blogging friends who have so much to offer. Have a beautiful day xx

  12. I, too, love the fact that Janis has the courage to write about the hard stuff. She does it with such grace and tact. It’s one of the reasons that I always read her blog posts. Thanks as well for the links to some new-to-me blogs. Excellent, every one of them.


    1. You’re absolutely right, Jude. Janis has a gift of taking the reader by the hand and helping them to a better conclusion, rather than hitting them over the head with it. It’s called subtlety — I wish there was more of that right now!

  13. Our fellow bloggers and the freedom we have to post whatever we want on our own blogs are perfect examples of what to be grateful for, Marty. Very well expressed! And, a post that makes you popular not only with the host of Retirementally Challenged. 🙂

  14. Me too! I am so grateful for the inspirational bloggers I have come into contact with through guest posts like this one. Thank you Janis and Marty. I’m off to follow those links now.

  15. Hey Marty, I’m a little late to this dance. Wonderful post. I like some of my blogging friends better than some people I know IRL, and just for the record…I’d clean out your microwave any time! Thanks for sharing some wonderful and talented new writers with us! ~ Lynn

    1. Thank you for your comment. I don’t normally allow links to other blogs in my comment section (they are often just an easy way to get more readers to the commenter’s site) but I thought your article was relevant and interesting. The Peace Corps sounds like something many of us might want to consider.

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