Thriving not just Surviving!
My next guest in the Over 50 & Thriving Series is Donna from Retirement Reflections. Donna has been my guest before and I’m always delighted to have her write for me. A recent incident was her inspiration for my Over 50 & Thriving series and I’m sure that many of you will agree that life can certainly go off path which isn’t always a good thing. Donna shares her story and how she realised that only she could bring back the balance in her life. It is a great lesson to us all.
Don’t forget to visit Donna over at her Retirement Reflections blog. You can read more about Donna and connect with her at the end of this post.
When ‘Thriving’ turns into ‘Surviving’: Getting Back on Track
When Sue asked me to write this Guest Post, I jumped at the chance. I categorize myself as ‘thriving,’ so blogging about this topic should be a piece of cake. Right?
I double checked the research. The definition of “thriving’ is twofold, including both ‘prospering’ and ‘evolving.’ (Source) Psychologists frequently cite the following characteristics as found in people who demonstrate optimal levels of ‘thriving.’ (Source)
• enjoyment of learning
• spirituality or religiosity
• social competency
Although I wouldn’t get a perfect score in each area, I’m comfortable with this list. Most of the time.
And then there are times when everything goes off-course. Everything. Like the week that I experienced Blogging Hell. Although I blamed my computer (and my hosting company) for that horrible week, it was me alone who allowed myself to get out of balance…and to begin operating in survival mode.
My technology frustrations were eventually resolved, but they did leave behind an important lesson. When I was completely honest with myself, I realized that I had taken on too many computer-related commitments. I had allowed excessive screen time to creep into my life. My ‘workaholic’ tendencies resurfaced…even though I am no longer “working”.
Me? Too much screen time? What makes you think that?
I’m fortunate to have someone whom I trust implicitly who offers a perfect blend of listening, support….and straight-up honesty. We chatted. I reflected. I made a plan.
I then closed my screen, wrote a handwritten list of activities that I love…and had let slip. Immediately, I began to add these events back into my week.
It didn’t take long, and I was back walking, back at yoga, back at the gym and back indulging in my favourite books. I have become more intentional with my computer use and have limited my screen time to a manageable level. Amazingly, I can still achieve the core of what I would like to accomplish with my computer.. The other online stuff is either unimportant or can wait. (Repeat after self: “I do not need to address all assigned tasks in one day…I do not need to address all assigned tasks in one day”!)
Meshing with ‘thriving’ is ‘presence,’ which is the ultimate goal of my retirement. I want to be there for my family, my friends and myself. Many on this list waited patiently when my career demanded endless hours. I have no intention of repeating that pattern.
Is there something that pushes you into ‘surviving’ instead of ‘thriving’? If so, let’s chat!
Meet Donna Connolly
Donna lived and worked in Beijing, China for fourteen years. Leaving international life behind, she and her husband retired to Vancouver Island, Canada, in June 2015. To document this transition, Donna initiated ‘Retirement Reflections’. Her favorite part of blogging is the interaction with others. Read more About Donna here You can connect with her in the comment section below, or via the following social media sites. She would love to hear from you.
Connect with Donna