May 20, 2013

My Whole Self

Today I'm going to do something I rarely do: "borrow" freely from someone else's blog.  A few months ago one of my favorite retirement blogs closed down. Suzanne's  blog was hacked and Google had her shut it down. I know Suzanne missed the fun of blogging, but the experience left her gun shy for awhile.

Then in early April, she reappeared with a new effort, Life out LoudHer first post set the stage for what she was going to do with her new creative outlet. Then, she promptly left the country for a month-long vacation. A few days ago she reappeared with a fresh post. I like her new focus so much I decided to share it here.

What Suzanne did was identify the individual parts of her whole self that she considers significant to to well-being. This is her list:

The Care And Keeping Of My Whole Self

Physical Self - Taking care of my body through regular exercise and a healthy diet

Spiritual Self - Spending time in contemplative thought, prayer, and expressing gratitude

Financial Self - Being mindful of the bottom line and practicing fiscal responsibility

Family Self - Responding to the needs of family and honoring my commitments

Creative Self - Experiencing joy through self-expression

Social Self - Maintaining healthy relationships with friends; enjoying social experiences

Community Self - Being socially responsible through volunteer efforts

To my way of thinking this is a a tremendous road map for a happy life and a satisfying retirement. As has been discussed on this blog many times, I find too many resources for retirement spend virtually all their time on the financial side. Certainly, that part is vitally important. But, the cliche, "money can't buy you happiness" can be extended to include..."or a satisfying retirement." The other areas of our development are every bit as important.

In my just released book, Living a Satisfying Retirement, nearly 50 people make it very clear that a happy transition is dependent on developing  every aspect of one's life. Without creativity and a way to fill one's time,  a strong family relationship or circle of friends, a sense of community, and taking care of your health, the best-laid financial plans will not produce what you desire.

i am glad Suzanne has begun blogging again and allows us to accompany her on her journey to care for her whole self.


  1. That's a concise way to organize my retirement....I've been working at that, but without an overall plan. Thanks to you & Suzanne for sharing it.


    1. It is a simple list but contains so much power to help fully develop one's life. That's why I wanted so much to use it.

  2. Bob, anyone, retired or not can start with this simple list and learn to live every day with purpose and balance. Thanks for sharing with your readers.

    1. You are welcome...and welcome back to the wacky world of blogging!

  3. It's a great road map. It's easy for people to identify and set goals, not just "to do," but how "to be."

    1. A road map is a good analogy. Without one it is easy to get continuously sidetracked.

  4. Cari in North TexasTue May 21, 03:08:00 PM MST

    I really like this list. I've seen similar information in an organizing and goal-setting framework, but I much prefer this wording. "Living a well-rounded and balanced life" is a guiding principle for my soon-to-be-retired life, and this list gives structure to that rather vague goal. Thank you for sharing this !