Monday, 30 December 2013

The 13 Best Things About Retirement 2013

As the sun sets on 2013 I have been reflecting on just what an amazing year it has been! Using the Long Service Leave I had accumulated over 30 years of work - but which I had not used - I have been fortunate to spend 2013 'unoffically retired'!

 Here are my 13 best things about Retirement in 2013!

1.   Freedom

Freedom from the enormous pressures and responsibilities of the leadership and work that I loved - but which took it's toll on my life. Freedom from the weekly grind of 60 hour plus work weeks - and always working most of every Sunday. Freedom from night meetings - I really don't miss those!

2.   Farewell to Stress

Stress and I broke up in 2013! Whilst working I did not recognise  the stress I was under, nor the sacrifices I was making in pursuit of being the best I could be at my job - and trying to be all things to everyone! I need to extend the hugest thank you and my deepest gratitude to my husband, John, and to my children and their families for their unwavering love, kindness, patience, understanding and support over all those years.

3.   Hello Sleep, Rest and Relaxation

With copious amounts of sleep, rest and relaxation I was able to still my ever spinning work brain. I now feel a peace and contentment that had previously escaped me!

4.   Spending Time with the One I Love

How heartwarming it has been to rediscover and renew my relationship with John. I feel so blessed to have married my soulmate. Now is our time!

5.   Being There for my Family

This year I have been able to be a mum and granny! It is one of my greatest pleasures to be present in the lives of my children and grandchildren - and now - finally I have the time to be around when I'm needed! There is no greater pleasure than a warm, sticky, spontaneous hug from a gorgeous grandchild - or three!

6.   Time

This year is different from every other year! I have had time to smell the roses - literally and figuratively! I have noticed the changes of the seasons, watched the sun set, listened to waves lap on sandy shores - re-attuning my senses to the world around me. The alarm clock has been discarded!

7.   A Healthier Me

My blood pressure is down! Lifestyle changes have been made! I'm loving eating fresh fruit and vegetables from our little garden, exercising regularly - walking, at the gym and with my personal trainer, ensuring that my bones stay strong by training with weights, and paying attention to my Vitamin D levels by catching regular sunshine.  

8.   Letting Go

It has been so cathartic to declutter my life and let go of 'stuff' that I'd kept 'just in case'!  And, my goodness, there was lots of it!!!

9.   Discovery

It has been so indulgent to put myself first this year, after always putting others first throughout my life. I have so enjoyed pursuing interests I previously did not have time for, to have time for personal learning and to discover there are amazing worlds and communities just waiting for you to discover out there in the real and digital worlds! I feel a little like I've been living a 'pick your own adventure'!

10.  Travel

Travel is cheap when you can access off peak fares. And to be no longer tied to travel during holidays or stolen weekends has been bliss!  Long stays at our beach house at Coffin Bay have been something we'd only been able to dream about - but not any more! 

11.   Money, Money, Money

I've found this year that I'm wanting and needing less and less - maybe it's a sign of contentment, or that I already have what I need! Let's face it - how many white plates does a girl need? I'm at a time in my life where quality is definitely winning out over quantity! Whatever the reason our living costs are much less than when we worked - which has been a pleasant surprise!

12.   Finding Me

This year I have refound my energy, enthusiasm and zest for life. My sparkle is back! Watch out world - my retirement has just begun!

13.   Gratitude

I am incredibly grateful that I took the decision to begin my retirement this year. I loved my work - but have not missed it's pressures. 2013 has been the most amazing year of self discovery - one that I will treasure always. Life has really begun at retirement!

My Wish for You

As 2013 ends and 2014 stretches out in front of us my wish for you, dear reader, is expressed in this verse from "My Wish" - a wonderful song written by Jeffrey Steele and Steve Robson, and performed by one of my favourite groups, Rascal Flatts, on the album Me and My Gang. 

'I hope that the days come easy and the moments pass slow
And that each road leads you to where you want to go
And if you're faced with the choice and you have to choose
I hope you choose the one that means the most to you.'

Happy New Year!




  1. Love it! And so pleased to have made your acquaintance this year Marian. May 2014 and onwards bring many more good things into your life xo

  2. I have learned so much from you this year, Liz! Thank you for your friendship! As you step into retirement from work, I wish you good health, happiness and fulfillment in 2014 and beyond! The next chapters of your life await you!

  3. Marian, it sounds like you have had a great year. Good on you. Life is good.

  4. Hi Glenda! I've had an amazing year - and am looking forward to 2014! Thanks for dropping by!