The Liebster Award – An Honored Recipient

For non-Wordpress folks who read me or even WordPress newer bloggers, The Liebster Award is a pass-a-long recognition of seemingly unknown origin, used by small bloggers to pay forward a little visibility to other small bloggers (less than 200 followers). The award has a side effect – it helps people get to know other bloggers (often blogging in same general area) and for subscribers/readers to get to know the blogger (i.e. me) better.

Sparky at MrFireStation.com has amazingly nominated me for this award!   If you have not checked him out, please do.  He’s about to retire, and unlike me, has been planning it well in advance. *sigh*

Unlike other awards, this one comes with rules and a job to do:
▪ Include the Liebster Award sticker in your post. (attempted – learning this new skill!)
▪ Nominate 5-10 other new bloggers with less than 200 followers who you think deserve this award.
▪ Let them know they have been nominated by commenting on one of their posts.
▪ Answer the 10 questions asked by the person who nominated you and then make ten questions of your own for your nominees.
▪ Lastly, copy these rules into your post.

It wasn’t easy identifying some great blogs that have not already been nominated and because I added a caveat in my “deserve this award” criteria – I had to be already following them and they had to have inspired me to make a comment on their postings.  Yeah, I always have set high expectations.  So, this meant I only have 5 blogs to nominate – but ones I would love to share with you.
retiremint.com   BK is also a recent retiree with an amazing ability to post something insightful almost every day.  She has inspired me more than once!
jamesproclaims.com   I “met” James in Blogging 101 and am glad I did.  He has an amazing wit and is refining his craft in Writing 101 right now. His posts make me smile.
ellepeterson.com   I just discovered Elle but will be following her closely… she’s a month into her retirement and has a lovely writing style – truly engaging.
Users Guide to Retirement from retireddiva.com    Colleen is also just into this retirement life and learning as she goes, but with a great writing style!  Another *sigh*.
betterispossible.com   Another new retiree writing about her transition. Carol has been added to my “group of recently retired professional women” – we are all in this one together, learning our way and supporting each other.
The 10 questions for these bloggers are at the end of the post.  I look forward to seeing their responses!
So here are the 10 questions given to me (and in true Pat style, my answers are not short!):
1. Why did you start your blog? A year ago, I retired earlier-than-expected from a 30+ year Corporate career without any (non-financial) retirement plan in place. The days after the retirement moment became a journey of transition. Part of my self-reflection was discovering a desire to write, confirming my love of research & synthesis, and a realization that I liked to advise/teach others. This all merged into creation of a Retirement Transition blog where I am hoping to connect with others on similar transition journey from full-time career to what comes next – to share my “wisdom” and learn together.

2. What do you think is the best use of your money? This might sound very self-serving, but I spent a lot of years working and saving and putting off living. I was always a fair-share giver to the causes – United Way & other causes we believe in. So the best use of my money NOW is to pay for the rest of our lives – to live a fulfilling life – from travel to a dream kitchen. I will personally help boost the economy.

3. What would a perfect day look like for you? My perfect day right now is a full-on leisure day! (I am learning how to not-work!) An early morning scan of current events, email and FB followed by a few hours at the beach – shelling, SUPing, walking, reading and socializing with neighbors. A good long walk for my dog and then a fish dinner outside at a local restaurant. (can you tell this is in Florida!) When I get tired of those days, I’ll do some consulting project work.

4. If you could travel anywhere in the world (cost aside), where would it be and why? My next dream travel is an African Safari. But I want to do the ultimate luxury one, with a reliable outfitter. For me it covers a few of the things on my Life Possibilities list – adventure travel, crossing the equator, wildlife spotting and visiting new countries & continents. I am hoping to convince my husband to do this for our 25th wedding anniversary!

5. What is an experience that changed your life for the better? Meeting and marrying my husband. I went through my 20’s without really finding anyone that I connected with – this in an era where it was published that you were more likely to be killed by a terrorist than get married if you passed age 27 unwed…. and getting the MRS degree was what most women I graduated high school with went to college for. But I had moved on and come to terms with being single for life – I had bought my house, created a circle of friends, learned to travel solo. And then I met this guy…. who made me a better person. That changed my life forever, and I am super happy about it.

6. If you were going to die after dinner, what would your last meal be? The food would not matter as much as the conversation. One of my favorite things is food (and wine) with friends – the friends being the most important component. I love a good dinner conversation!

7. What is your favorite thing about the area in which you live? Having grown up right outside NYC, people always ask me how I can possibly be happy in a mid-size, mid-west city. What I love is you can LIVE here. You can go out to dinner at a great restaurant (with friends) without making reservations weeks in advance. You can afford a great home in a great neighborhood. You can regularly go to the theater or the opera or the symphony without going into debt. You can go to sporting events (if that is your thing) and get tickets almost anytime. Anything that is your “thing” is here – without the crowds and expense of the big cities.

8. What would/does early retirement look like for you? Since I am in it, I can say it is a slower pace than I had before. I get enough sleep these days. I can sit and read blogs and enjoy coffee in the sunlight on a great fall morning. I have started an exercise program, for the first time in 15 years. I have moved from being an expert to being an explorer. I am taking classes and trying new things. I am a person in transition.

9. How will you/did you tell your boss you were retiring?  I told my boss when I knew that the “finances would work” that I was “open” to a downsizing package, not really expecting one. I was a highly-regarded expert in a specialized area and we had not identified anyone to apprentice in the skills. So the downsizing package was a shock. But as we (boss & I) talked and agreed, it was the right time for me to leave. The downsizing would have created so much more stress for me and I didn’t have a life… it was time for me to find one.

10. How will you/do you answer the question “what do you do for a living?” I have come to terms with the phrase “I’m retired”, which often shocks people. Not only did I retire early (54), but I look much younger than my years. A combination of good genes and no kids? I often follow it up with some of the things I am doing that week – like writing my blog, my latest consulting LLC project, whatever class I am taking, my most recent trip taken or in the planning stage, or just puppy sitting for our neighbors. These days I am living, not doing for a living.

My ten questions for my nominees:
Why did you start blogging?
What blog inspires you the most?
What hobbies (besides blogging) do you enjoy?
What is your favorite book or movie?
What would your perfect day look like/be like?
If you could travel anywhere in the world (without worry of cost or safety), where and why?
What do you consider to be the craziest thing on your bucket list? (craziest life goal?)
How do you answer the question – what do you do for a living?
If you could have a super-power, what would it be?
If you could change one thing about your life right now, what would it be?

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