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#A-ZChallenge N is for Next

April 16, 2018

The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is an annual challenge put out to bloggers to publish a post from A-Z every day in April, except for Sundays. April 1 is A, and so on throughout the month. The theme I have chosen for 2018 is The Story Of Me

So what’s next for me? Now that my life now seems to be calm and settled. This is the question that I’m constantly asking myself lately.  I am aware that what is coming next, and looming very quickly, is retirement. I’ve been giving this a lot of thought lately, as I will reach retirement age next year. How that is happening I have no idea, as it seems to have crept up on me without me noticing.  I don’t feel like a person who is about to retire, and I’m  sure there is plenty of life left in me yet. I know there is definitely plenty of enthusiasm there.

I know that when I retire, I will still live a busy life. My whole working life seems to have been packed with a bit more than can be done comfortably. I’ve always been a busy person and I don’t see that changing, even in retirement. Being busy just seems to be part of my personality.

I’ve tried retirement twice in the past and it hasn’t been successful for me.  Even though I kept busy, it didn’t feel right for me. I felt guilty and constantly felt like I was playing hookey, so I eventually went back to work. But I think this time, I have a different attitude to retirement. The first two times I tried retirement, I had been working very busy jobs and went from working well over 40 hours a week to coming to a dead stop in retirement.

I’m now working casual hours and only about 25 hours each week, though many weeks are busier. I’m fairly sure that these shorter hours will make transitioning into retirement easier for me. Lately, I find that I’m looking forward to it and starting to make plans for life in retirement. More time for gardening, cycling, walking, gym, grandchildren, and just generally enjoying life without too much stress.  That’s the plan anyway.

Grandparents Grandmother People Happy Fami

In a N for Next post in the Story Of Me, I should also mention Next Phase In Fitness, my other blog, which is a huge passion for me. This blog started in 2011, as a place to record my adventures in fitness. I mostly recorded training and events I participated in, such as cycling and fun runs. The name came about, because at the time, I was very fit, but I was wondering what would be next, as I was obviously starting to age. Could I keep my fitness level up? Would I be able to continue participating in events? In 2016 the name was changed to Next Phase in Fitness and Life. I wasn’t doing many events and my training was very repetitive so I was aware that the blog could become repetitive.

I also wanted to start recording my experiences of ageing and being an older exerciser. I was sure that my experiences of ageing would be positive, however, when I went searching for information, there seemed to be so much that was negative. I’ve only recently begun to focus the blog on ageing, but from now there will be regular posts on this theme. Of course I will still be posting about my training and any events that I might decide to enter.

Next Phase In Fitness & Life

Please visit again to see my story unfold. 


  1. Hi Jen, I retired early as my husband was already retired but I certainly didn’t adjust well. I think starting the blog saved me! Now I like to use the phrase ‘retired from work but not retired from life’. As we are both into fitness I will be looking forward to your posts on Next Phase in Fitness. Have a great week!

  2. I’ve reduced my work days down to two a week Jennifer. That plus my blog plus volunteering plus social catch-ups plus chores etc seems to fill my week without much time left over. I really want to do an online course and it’s my goal to start one in the next few months – I just need to get through the darn AtoZ and come up for air first!

    Leanne |
    N for Never Lie

  3. I retired last June and was thankful that my workplace offered an early buy out as it pushed me to make the move. My husband was already retired and I often envied that. It’s nice not to have to get up early anymore and we do stay up late, so enjoy sleeping in. I have many hobbies that keep me busy and we enjoy TV together. It is nice that we can just take off at any time without being restrictions to work. You never know how much time you have, so enjoy some of it without working is nice.

    • Thanks for your comments Jeanne. You make it sound irresistible. And you’re right we never know how much time we have left.

  4. I thought I’d have trouble retiring as I loved my job as a library director. Being just 55, it seemed too early, but hubby was pushing for it. It turned out that I loved it and haven’t regretted it for one minute. There is so much I want to do, that I’ll have to live to 100 to accomplish all my projects. You should try genealogy and then you will find yourself resenting other demands on your time (like a job).

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