Me and Mr. Tiki

I started my blog in the months before I retired in part to work through my ambivalence about my upcoming life-changing event. Was I ready?  Would I have enough to do? Would I be giving up more than I would gain? My blog title, Retirementally Challenged, reflected my uncertainty and angst.

Now, looking back several years later, my only regret is “why didn’t I do it sooner?” Although I do miss some of the benefits of working full-time (like the built-in social network and regular paycheck), I have gained much more than I gave up.

No longer needing to navel-gaze about my retirement, I now enjoy writing about all sorts of topics, including travel, relationships, photography, gratitude, and whatever else pops in my head (even, sometimes, issues surrounding retirement and aging).

So, am I still Retirementally Challenged? Yes, but in a different way. I’m still retired and I still find challenges, but the challenges in my life are mostly positive and self-directed… they are what make life interesting.

Thanks for stopping by… I hope you decide to stick around.

123 thoughts on “About”

    1. I have much to learn – both about retirement and blogging. I look forward to following your blog. We have a few things in common (a history of Hodgkin’s, photography, and a love of all things tropical) and a few things not (no snow here in San Diego!). Stay warm and keep on writing!

    1. Hi Terri. We are back home now and I’m catching up on comments. Congratulations on your upcoming retirement! You will love it. My husband is from the Sacramento area so we get up there now and then. I’m going to follow your blog – it looks like a good one!

  1. Blessings! Thank you for following 50figment. I am so excited to welcome you as a new follower, and am sure you’ll teach me a few tricks along the way.

  2. Hi Janis, I’ve been retired for a year and a half now. I don’t miss work at all and haven’t been idle nor bored. But it does take time and effort to re-adjust. For me the trick was not to try too hard but to rest and be for awhile.


    1. Yes, just “be” for awhile… I like that. Now, after 7 months of retirement I am fully integrated into the retiree lifestyle and having great fun! The hardest part was to get over the need to feel productive all the time. Being productive is good, but sometimes (actually, a lot of the time) my husband and I just enjoy doing whatever floats our boat. Thanks for the visit and the follow!

  3. I’m a writer, so I don’t quite get to retire, I just get to quit the jobs that paid any reliable money. Having said that, it’s been great. My partner’s take on it is that she can’t remember how she found time to work. Blogging wasn’t part of my plan, but it’s been a wonderful discovery.

    1. Now that I have retired, the fact that I can do just about anything (with some limitations, of course) can feel overwhelming. I agree with your partner, how did I find the time to get anything done while I was working?

      Blogging has been a lot of fun but, for me, writing is sweat. I enjoy it, but I agonize and overthink. I envy those whose words just flow out of them and, when they hit “post,” they have created a perfect little gem…with no typos.

  4. Hi Janis, I discovered your intelligent, entertaining and beautiful blog a few months ago and now I am following you. I retired about a year and a half ago and many of your posts hit home with me. I’ve always loved writing and recently I started my own blog as a venue for my work. Excellent blogs like yours give me inspiration!

    1. Hi Carol! Funny, I was reading your “about” when I received your comment. Thanks for your kind words about my blog. It appears that we are in similar passages of our lives.

      I enjoyed reading a sampling of your posts (especially the one about your mother) and look forward to reading more!

  5. Hello Janis

    I discovered your blog via the /cherished Blogfest organised by Damyanti, and which I’m helping co-host. First of all, congratulations of your retirement plans. I too have lots of plans of rmy own retirement in three years time – some travel adventures, more time to enjoy my outdoor pursuits, and most of all the opportunity to develop and enjoy my writing. Hope to learn more about you and your writing as I delve further in to your blog posts…

    Best wishes, Paul…

    1. Very nice to meet you and thank you for visiting! You have reminded me that I need to update my About since I’ve been retired now for a little over a year. Welcome to (almost) retirement… I can’t recommend it enough! I’m looking forward to reading about your cherished object!

  6. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day for me to do all the things I want to do. Retirement has been easy for me 🙂 … but I do miss the paycheque 😉

    1. I know, I can’t figure out why that direct bank deposit I grew so used to had to stop coming! But, I wouldn’t give up my new freedom for anything! I feel so lucky to have been able to make the break from working full time to doing pretty much what I want!

  7. Hello Janet, I found my way here through the Cherished Blogfest. What a great title for your blog. I have some big changes coming up, not so much retirement, at least that’s not how I’m thinking of it, as a whole new way of life; new adventures – I hope.

  8. I retired early and have loved every minute of it. No one is the boss a me! Also, it’s given me the time to write. I could never blog, if I were still working. Enjoy and then enjoy some more.

      1. Janis, I made my husband retire soon after me. He was tentative, but I told him he could go back part time, if he couldn’t find enough to do. He never went back. It’s been 12 years. Like you, we travel and enjoy our home and friends. I’ve just started writing seriously in the last 3 years, and published a an adult-children’s book last year, so things centering around the book have gotten a bit busier lately. I’m re- writing my first mystery right now and I will not tell you who dun nit. Very nice to meet you and have a lovely weekend! (Oh, Happy Birthday one more time!) Clare

        1. We had dinner with friends last night and found out that one of the husbands is writing a mystery. I was so impressed! Although I enjoy writing, I don’t have a novel – or even a short story – in me. I admire those who can make things up like that!

          1. Blogging takes a lot of imagination, so you are a writer. (Many things in books are actually true even if the book is supposedly fiction. You just have to figure out how to change the names to protect the guilty.)

  9. Hello there. I found your blog on another blog that I follow where you had commented. I’m not retired yet but hoping to do so in the next several years. Perhaps I can learn some things from you 🙂 I thought I had it all figured out, alas, now I’m just not sure. I guess time will tell. Nice to meet you.

    1. Nice to meet you also! I guess each of us has our unique journeys into and through retirement. Actually retiring was a cake-walk for me… now after two years, I’m starting to search around for something “more.” I’ll be interesting in reading about your journey!

      1. so weird. I just re-followed your blog. I saw a comment of yours on our mutual friend Keith’s blog and when it brought me here I was no longer following? This happened to me once before and I am at a loss as to how this happens. BUT, hopefully your posts will reappear in my feed. Happy new year!!

  10. I’m so glad you decided to follow my blog this morning or I might never have found yours! Blogging has definitely been one of the many joys of retirement for me. I love the name of yours, by the way!

    1. I discovered your blog from your comment on A Well Styled Life. I enjoy the blogging community of retired – and nearly retired – women. We all have something to share from our different perspectives. I love your blog’s combination of travel, fashion, and observations.

  11. Hi,

    I just found your blog and would like to invite you to guest post on the blog on our site, Retirement And Good Living about your transition to retirement.

    Our site provides information on a variety of topics including retirement planning, finances, health, retirement locations, travel, education, hobbies, part time jobs, aging, volunteering and more. Over 300 guests from around the globe provided posts for the blog on our site.

    Please let me know if you are interested and I will forward additional information.

    Thank you,

    Simone Harrison
    Retirement And Good Living

  12. HI, am just getting into blogging after retiring in November. Looking forward to reading more about your blog! It took a lot of scrolling through tags of “retirement” to find yours!

    1. Welcome to the blogging community! I’ve been at it almost three years (about 1 1/2 years longer than the life of a typical blog). I encourage you to click on the names of many of the people who leave their comments on my posts – many of them are active bloggers and are retired too. It’s a good way to find others whose blogs you might want to follow. I’d love to follow your blog too (as soon as I can figure out where to enter my email address). It looks like you are well on your way!

  13. Hi there,
    I found your blog through your comment on another blogger that I follow. I am “retirement age” (here in Canada that’s anyone over 65) but have not taken the plunge yet because I’m not sure I am (mostly emotionally) ready for it. I will be a fly on the wall following other people like yourself who are starting to figure it out and know I will enjoy your posts in the process.

    1. Hi Maureen! I am thrilled that you found my blog and thank you for your comment! We have such a nice community made up of bloggers who have retired – or are planning to – and readers who add so much to the dialog. So many of us have been in the same place you find yourself: we are hopefully optimistic about leaving work, but also realize that there are big changes on the horizon. I look forward to learning more about your process!

  14. Hello! Found you through a comment you made on someone’s blog and your blog title looked interesting. I read your “about” page and I like that we have things in common! I want to retire soon, and ramping up for that eventuality. I hope to become a career coach/consultant. I also live in SoCal, which can have it’s own issues with retirement, such as affordability. Yet, it’s my home, my state, and my two daughters live here…anyways, glad I found you and look forward to reading more of your blog!

    1. Very nice to meet you and thank you for the follow. Your blog looks interesting as well. I was also in the book business a lifetime ago (I was a graphic designer for a subsidiary of Harcourt Brace Jovanovich) and really loved that industry – lots of smart, dedicated people. Good luck on your retirement planning; I know it can be scary, but the rewards are great.

  15. I’m not yet retired and am interested in hearing more about what it’s like and how one knows she is ready! I look forward to reading your blog.

    1. Thank you for the follow! There are quite a few retired, semi-retired, and near-retired bloggers out there. I think we all approach it a bit differently, but I haven’t read of many who regret their decision. I know that I never looked back.

  16. Hi there! Thanks for stopping by and liking my blog entries…and for the follow! I’m on the precipice of my next life stage and I looking forward to hearing about your experiences/gathering some tips from you…

  17. HI! Thanks very much for stopping by my blog and liking my post on walking. As an old retiree, 77 and 17 years retired, it sounds to me like you are off to a great start. Planning gets you halfway there. I can tell you that my writing the blog on Diet, exercise and living past 100 has had a very beneficial affect on my life. I hope that yours will, too. Best of luck!

  18. Hello! I found you through Norm’s Thursday Doors and was attracted by your great blog title! However, retirement isn’t nearly as challenging as work!! I loved your post on Oaxaca markets. I hope your fears are unfounded about these local markets disappearing. They may actually be making a comeback. People want fresh food and these markets are a good place to meet friends and chat. Also, there are enough traditional people in Oaxaca still that will frequent these markets. Whatever the case, Oaxaca is one of my favorite places in Mexico!

    1. I have to agree with you about the challenges of work vs. retirement. After three years I have never looked back.

      I sure hope you are right about the markets. Maybe the younger generation will carry on the traditions of their parents… and ancestors.

      Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. I’m off to check yours out.

  19. I just found your blog, via “Picture Retirement ” blog, sounds like you are having a lot of fun? I am due to take early retirement in October. I am looking forward to having more time to myself and traveling, it is reassuring to read blogs like yours 😄

  20. I, like many others in this comment section, was taken with your title. Very clever. I retired 9 years ago. I have to admit I was looking forward to it, unlike a lot of people. Forty-five years of working was quite enough! I was never nervous about it. In fact, when people used to ask me how is retirement going I would respond: “I knew I would be good at this, I just didn’t realize I’d be this good!”

    Glad you are finding the same. Your trip pictures are great and look forward to following you in the hard work of retirement. Like the man said, “it’s a dirty job but…..”

    1. When I retired three years ago, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect… but I knew it was something to look forward too. I have to admit that I’m pretty darn good at it too! Thank you for visiting my blog, commenting and following! It’s nice to meet you.

    1. We have met quite a few people who are living their retirement dream abroad. These expats have discovered that the cost of living can be a lot lower and the quality of life a lot better. Even if a retiree isn’t trying to live on limited funds, the attraction of living in another country can be strong. Maybe one of these days we’ll join them.

  21. I’ve just retired in March 2017 and am looking forward to a new ‘career’ – it’s not easy keeping busy – I don’t have kids (or grandkids) and my husband is 16 years younger than me. So, I’m going to try something new – but maybe not so new – life/executive coaching – I spent the last 5 years of my law career mentoring the ‘young’ ones coming up – making sure they understood what it meant to be a lawyer. Here’s hoping that my new program in coaching will be good! BTW, I’m American but have lived abroad for years – and can’t really consider coming back to the US to live now because of health care costs. Thanks for your blogging!

    1. Welcome to retirement! For some reason,keeping busy hasn’t been a problem for me (or, maybe I have a loose definition of “busy” 🙂 ). Between traveling, blogging, photography, reading and my book club, taking dance lessons, and just day-to-day living, I feel like I’m always doing something. Life coaching is an up and coming field and I would guess that there are a lot of opportunities. Another blogger I follow studied for and received some sort of licence or certificate so she could do that too. Best of luck in your retirement. I think sometimes it takes awhile to find a balance that feels right. The most important thing is to keep trying new things until something clicks and enjoy the journey along the way.

  22. Janice- I just discovered your blog and have just started one myself for the same reason–a place to muse about what’s going on with me and to think out loud about what’s next. I just retired so am deep what you called (appropriately) the “navel-gazing” stage. I am simply so relieved to discover that anything I write about seems to be what others have written about (though that suggests maybe I’m not really saying anything anyone has to read? who knows). Anyway, glad I found your blog!

  23. Hey Janis, Have come across your comments many times in blogs that both of us follow. The unusual name has always intrigued me. Today I finally decided to stop by and read about it. Am glad I did. And yes, I have decided to stick around. 🙂

    1. Hi Rachel… I would love for you to follow me! I see my big “Follow Me via email” button on the upper right when I look at my site on my desktop, but not on my iPad (although a little “Follow” button pops up in the lower right corner). I’m not sure why that is, but I’ll look into it (I’m only as good as my IT department… which is me… so I’m usually in trouble 🙂 ). Can you follow me via a desktop? In the meantime, I’m off to check out your blog.

      1. Thank you for the tips: I will persevere. I think people find it simpler to follow me since I added a widget/button. I grudge giving my email address when I’m already logged in to WP!

  24. Hi Janis,
    Great blog and I’ll be back for more in the future. I’m semi-retired and hoping not to have to return to Australia to work again – getting too old for that and too young to keep travelling the world! 😉

  25. I was drawn to your website by the title, as I am retired too. It seems laughable now that we ever agonized over “Would I have enough to do?”

    Like you, I have sorted through stuff in two homes which were later sold: my grandma/aunt’s house and my mother’s, both cautionary tales of accumulating too much STUFF!

    Retirementally Challenged? Not really, except for the challenge of memoir writing, a work in progress. By the way, I saw your reply on Liesbet’s Roaming About and clicked here. 🙂

    1. Hi Marian! Thank you for finding your way to my blog. It seems that many of us retirees are in the same boat… letting go of stuff, discovering new passions (or, passion-ettes, as I call them since nothing has grown into a full-blown passion so far), and loving the freedoms we’ve gained since leaving the work-world. From looking at your blog, it is clear that you’ve lived an interesting life. I’m glad you are capturing everything in your memoir.

  26. Hi Janis, Loved your blog and the intriguing title. I have taken a break from active work force and it sort of feels like early retirement too. I did something crazy like quitting my full time job to work on my farm and lead a leisurely lifestyle. Following your blog now.

  27. They have businesses to get you through the SAT’s & College Entrance process, IRA’s and Investment Portfolios, and many others. Perhaps, you should set up a retirement and moving forward into Medicare side business, just so you don’t get bored.

  28. Hi Janis,
    Again, it’s nice to meet you through Erica’s blog. After reading your “About” all I can say is that I’m jealous! My husband and I have a couple more years left before we enter into retirement. For us though, we are so excited. We each have many hobbies that would keep us busy. So, I don’t think we’d get bored, but it probably would take some effort to establish a routine. I’m just ready to not have to report to anyone. I want to be the creator of my own schedule. Ahh, patience!
    Anyway, we shall see what transpires in this Covid world. It’s pretty scary. On a lighter note, I’m happy this new phase in your life has turned out to be a positive one. I look forward to reading your posts, too, and getting to know you. Lauren 🌷

    1. Hi Lauren! My husband and I have just passed our retirement anniversaries (his 8th and my 6th) and I can report that we are still enjoying the heck out of this stage of our lives. Even with the current situation, we manage to find plenty to do (even if that just means reading a book or organizing files). It’s amazing how easy it is to fill your days. I hope that you and your husband can retire on schedule and that you enjoy it as much as we do.

      1. It’s great to hear that you’re both enjoying retirement. I’m still green with envy, but I’ll get over it! I’m just so happy for you and your story is encouraging for when our time comes. Thanks for your good wishes, too.

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