Check Out My Interview On “Yes and Yes Blog”

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersI  thought I would share my recent interview that appeared last week on the Yes and Yes Blog. The Yes and Yes Blog is produced by Sarah Von Bargen. I met Sarah when she was a speaker at the PHLbloggers Blog Connect Conference in Philadelphia in May 2018.

Sarah has been blogging since 2008. She says, “Yes and Yes grew out of my desire to read a very specific type of blog that – at the time – didn’t exist. I liked lifestyle blogs (who doesn’t?) but I wanted something with a tiny bit more depth. Interesting interviews in addition to the recipes posts; thought-provoking personal essays and ‘what to wear for a weekend away’ posts.”

Today, 12,000+ daily readers view her blog and she has been featured in places like Lifehacker, Problogger, Glamour, and among others. She also created an ecourse about money + happiness and another one about changing our habits. Plus she created an app, three calendars, and signed with a literary agent!

Sharing My Life Story
Sarah interviewed me about my reinvention after losing my spouse, selling my house and emptying out my nest. My interview is entitled, “True Story: I Reinvented Myself at 50” and includes answers to Qs about my life pre-50 and post-50 and the different changes I”ve made during the last 10 years.

Defining Your Success
Sarah was the keynote speaker at the PHLBloggers Blog Connect Conference. Her talk about “Defining Your Success” was inspiring. She said that “if you can’t define success, you won’t know when you get there.” She encouraged attendees to “create your own definition of success” rather than comparing your life to others. She said that success is not necessarily about how many social media followers you have or how much money you have in the bank. Continue reading

Retiring Early: What I Learned In My First Six Months

This week, I am  pleased to present a guest post from a fellow boomer girl and one of my blog readers. Her name is Moira and she recently retired. Moira’s words of wisdom about the wonderful discoveries and exciting explorations during this special time in her life have helped ease my Type A jitters as I begin to think about my own early retirement. Yes, I will be leaving my corporate career this spring. There are so many new opportunities  to experience. I can’t wait. Thank you Moira for sharing your inspiring story:

Moira Donoghue

I am 60 and I am enjoying my seventh fire of the winter – sitting in a comfortable chair, accompanied by a good book, a glass of sherry and a warm and gentle kitten by my side. Why is it significant that this is my seventh fire of the winter? And that I just restocked my firewood supply for the first time in years? For me, enjoying this many long evenings in front of a fire, just half way through the winter, is one of the symbols of what I have learned in my first few months as a retired woman.

I retired in May from a 36-year professional career. It was a career that brought great satisfaction, time with amazing people and interesting travel. But it was a career that also brought a deep weariness and a nagging frustration that my life had narrowed. There was never enough time to read in front of my fireplace or even buy firewood.

Moira enjoys time by the fireplace with her kitten.

Writing this guest post has forced me to clarify my thoughts about retirement.  Here’s what I’ve learned in this short time:

Deciding to retire is one decision; how to “be retired” is an entirely different one. Deciding to retire is all about finances, shedding a work persona, and saying goodbye to colleagues. I was unable to get to the decision to retire until I put on hold the decisions about how I would spend my time after retirement. For me, deciding to retire needed its own focus.  Realizing I had confused two distinct decisions got me unstuck and I was able to give the decision to retire the full attention it deserved.

I needed a period of transition to understand how to “be retired”. When I started talking about retirement, some friends advised not to retire without knowing exactly how I would spend my time. “Don’t fall off that cliff”, they warned. Others said I wouldn’t know what I wanted to do until I was retired – which turned out to be true for me. I needed time to disconnect. To meet new people. To test out new interests, some lurking for years on the sidelines. To sleep late and take naps. To let my mind wander. To “Google” every thread of interest I could uncover to see where it led. (In fact, that’s how I found Judi’s blog). Such time for exploration isn’t right for everyone but it was right for me. I am now settling into some choices, which feel good because I took the time to explore.

The real joy of retirement is the luxury of time. My sweetest lesson has been that retirement is really about having the time to do exactly what I want to do and when I want to do it. I can’t overstate how important this point is. I am making the choices that give me the great happiness because they truly are my first choices.

I still possess a valuable collection of skills.  All this exploration over the last few months has also shown me that the skills I developed over my worklife can be put to valuable use in new and sometimes unexpected ways. To help others. To learn. To have fun. It was real work to separate from my work persona, but I see now that I have not lost any of my skills just because I stopped working. Funny that it took me awhile to understand that.

Negative thoughts happen; they just do.  Do I really have enough in savings? Why have I started thinking of myself as “old”? If I am not working, am I still valuable? Why am I calling retirement my “final chapter”?  Will I be bored? Apologies for the drama, but these are real fears that creep into my thoughts at the oddest times. For a few months, they were pretty unsettling. I finally just decided they aren’t useful so I trained myself to dismiss them when they creep in. And they do. They are part – a small part – of the big change I am still experiencing.

So with the benefit of several months of self-reflection, I now find myself more comfortable than ever about my decision to retire and how to “be retired.”  I am happier here in my first year of retirement than I ever expected to be.  When the time is right for you, I wish you all the same joy, and ultimately, clarity.

I hope you enjoyed Moira’s guest post. Let me know if you have a story about your life after 50 that you would like to share with fellow boomer girls. Would you like to write a guest post?  Send along a note or leave a comment.


Ways To Have More Fun In Your Life Post 50

“How was your day?” I said to my mom the other evening after I arrived home from a very busy day at work.

“My day was very busy too,” said my mom, who is truly blossoming in her new assisted living residence.

“What were you so busy with?”  I curiously replied.

“Oh, first I had breakfast.  Then I went to exercise class at 10:00 a.m.  Then I had lunch.  In the afternoon we played word games.  The kind of word games where you get a word and you have to make other smaller words out of the larger word,” said my mom. “The instructor said I did very well.” (My mom always completed the NY Times Sunday Crossword Puzzle when I was growing up, so it did not surprise me that she aced the word game.)

life after 50, baby boomer women, over 50, boomer women

One of my favorite prints from a female artists that hangs on the wall at my condo on the corner at the Jersey shore. It encourages me to have more fun in my life post 50.

“What fun.  What else did you do?” I said.

“Oh, Judi.  Oh, Judi,” said my mom. “At 4:00 p.m. I watched the best Oprah show ever.”

“Really,” I said.  “Who was on Oprah?”

“Robert Redford and Barbara Streisand were on Oprah,” said my mom.  “It was so great that it almost brought tears to my eyes.  Remember The Way We Were?  Barbara sang the song.  This was the first time Barbara and Robert appeared together in an interview.  They also showed Barbara’s designer home in Malibu.”

“Wow,” I said to my mom.  “You did have a fun and fabulous day.”

“What did you do today?” said my mom.

“Oh, just another busy day at work,” I responded.  “Not as much fun as your day.”

I wondered as I hung up from the phone call with my mom, will I have to wait until I am almost 90 like my mom to raise the fun factor in my life?  No, no, no, no. Absolutely not.  I have to figure out a way to put more fun into each and every day to ensure that I make it to my 90’s.

Let’s see what should I do for fun?  I know. I know. I know.  I can go find that Oprah episode with Barbara Streisand and Robert Redford.  It must be online somewhere.  Ooh, ooh, here it is: Barbara and Robert.  Ooh, ooh, ooh, it is great, just like my mom said.

Ooh, ooh, ooh.  The Way We Were was and always will be one of my favorite movies.  Ooh, ooh, ooh, I love the way Barbara and Robert are reminiscing about their days during the filming so many years ago.  Ooh, ooh, ooh, I can’t wait until they show Barbara’s new designer home.

Oh no.  Oh no. Oh no. Bing, bang. Bang, bing.  What’s happening?  Is there a short in my computer? Now there’s darkness.   Barbara and Robert and Oprah are gone.  The person who posted the replay dropped her camera and the show is now over.

Well, at least I had a little bit of fun.  Go Judi, go Judi, go Judi.

But, I need more fun, more fun, more fun in my life.  Yes, I need a little bit of fun every day.

I must learn how to lighten up and have more fun.

I must learn from my inspiring mom.

caregiving, life after 50, boomer women, aging

My mom was always inspiring.

I must also learn from my lucky son D, who is quite good at making sure he has a high fun quotient in his daily life.  D is studying in Rome this semester while I am home in New Jersey having less fun.When I spoke to D yesterday, he shared all the fun he had just had during his spring break trip to Madrid and Spain.

Get ready D, D, D. Your sister and I will be visiting soon and we want to have lots of fun.  Tell the gelato and pizza and pasta places to start cooking cause we’re coming.  And make sure the weatherman calls for sunshine because we want to walk the parks and piazzas too.

Ooh, ooh, ooh.  This weekend, I think I am going to have some fun and prepare for my upcoming Italian holiday by watching Roman Holiday.  Ooh, ooh, ooh, I just love, love, love Audrey Hepburn.

Have any other tips on how I can raise the fun factor during my life after 50?  Please send them along – all ideas are welcome.  I have many more fun-filled hours and days to enjoy this year and hopefully many more fun-filled years to come.