November 23, 2011

Feeling Blessed

First Greece causes the world to hold its collective breath. Then, Italy has economic markets in a tizzy until its Prime Minister is forced out the door.  Portugal and Spain continue to twist in the wind. Waking up to the seemingly endless financial mess the world is in can become depressing rather quickly. As someone wanting to retire at some point, or already trying to put together a satisfying retirement, you may wonder if anyone is not only weathering the storm, but enjoying life.

A friend who reads this blog remarked the other day that I am really living the satisfying retirement lifestyle I write about. I thanked him for the compliment, but wanted more details. Since it is my life, I don't have the ability to step back and look at it like an outsider does. He reminded me of a few of things we had talked about recently:
  1. My trip to Maui where my wife and I spent a fabulous 18 days totally relaxing and forgetting the real world's problems for awhile.
  2. Enjoying a free outdoor concert near our home that featured a 30 piece orchestra & band performing 30 Beatle songs in a tribute concert.
  3. Having lunch at an outside cafĂ© and spending a sunny afternoon at the Desert Botanical Gardens, looking at the incredible display of cactus, succulents, and wildflowers, and endless people watching.

When I got home I thought about his observation. I stopped checking the stock market and reading the world news to remember some of the things I had been able to do in the past few weeks:

  • Going to a movie with friends on a Friday afternoon while the rest of the world waited for 5 PM to start their weekend, followed by a dinner of happy hour appetizers while we caught up on each others' lives.
  • Enjoying a free admission day at the Phoenix Art Museum to see the new Western Art exhibit
  • Watching the Blue Man Group perform in Tempe: a 90 minute extravaganza of inventiveness and energy.
  • Having two sets of friends over for dinner two nights in a row, and really enjoying the time together to talk.
  • Hosting a Bible study at our house and making new friends
  • Taking the grandkids door-to-door on Halloween and loving that my granddaughter insisted on holding my hand all night.

My friend was absolutely right: my lifestyle was matching what I write about. Obviously the trip to Maui was expensive and ate up our vacation budget for a few years. The Blue Man group cost about $65 for tickets but worth every penny. Everything else though was free or low cost. For whatever reason I like finding things to do that are fun, free, and give my wife and me a new experience.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It is four days of family, food, relaxation, and no gift-giving pressure. I refuse to participate in the insanity of Black Friday. In fact, unless it is to visit family I make it a point to not leave the house. My life is blessed. I know that and I thank God everyday for it. I also know it could be taken away from me, or someone I love, in an instant so I take no precious moments for granted. It is truly a satisfying retirement life.

I wish for you and your family a happy, joyous, and peaceful Thanksgiving weekend. Whatever your circumstances you have something to be thankful for. Dwell on that for awhile.


  1. I am glad you see the goodness in front of you.
    Happy Thanksgiving.

  2. Janette,

    For you and your loved ones, have a great holiday weekend.

  3. Happy Thanksgiving! Like you, I'm thankful beyond words for my family. Know too that I'm thankful for your positive attitude and willingness to share insights.

  4. Another great post - Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. Rick,

    Thanks and the happiest holiday to you and your family. We are all blessed.


    Happy Thanksgiving to you, too. BTW, I just glanced at your blog roll list...I have a weekend full of places to check out!

  6. I am thankful for any success that God has sent my way in the past year. I am thankful for my wife who is by my side, and my daughter and son-in-law who are able to stay with us for the next two weeks. And I am also thankful for friends who I have known for a long time, and new ones such as yourself and other bloggers on your site, however short that history may be. Have a great Thanksgiving, everyone, and especially yourself, Bob, and your family.

  7. Thanks, Chuck, and have the very best weekend with your family. Betty and I are heading to our daughter's home later today to have a big feast with everyone, watch some football, and celebrate everything that is good in our lives.

  8. Happy Thanksgiving, Bob! I've really been thankful for your blog this past year:)

  9. Joan,

    I have been blessed by your friendship and support. Have a fabulous holiday season...and a healthy one!