You Only Get One

This time of year, I like to reflect on my life. I think about my good fortune and share some of it with others through our donations. I think about what I’d like to add to or subtract from my life. And though I don’t like to make resolutions, I do like to make plans.

Because we only get this one beautiful life and I don’t want to waste it. Some of us will get many years and some of us will get far too few. But no matter the number of years we receive in this, our one beautiful life, we all want to thrive.

Thriving for me probably won’t look like thriving for you–we’ll each have our own definition or vision of what thriving looks like.

I have several visions that help define thrive for me.

Thriving are my new old friends on the Pickleball court. People pushing 80 kicking this 53 year old gal’s butt. Laughing, active, engaged, fierce, fun.

Thriving are my fake parents, tending their gardens, their family (including their family of fakes!) and their community to help them all prosper. Quick with a smile or to share a laugh, quicker yet to shrug off a setback. Laughing, active, generous, engaged, fun.

Thriving are my former colleagues, stepping up for that next opportunity, growing their families, figuring out their balance between living for now and living for later. Hard working, smart, active, engaged, learning, fun.

I’m surrounded by people I want to be like when I grow up.

And if I want to thrive, I need to look at what is holding me back. What needs to be added or subtracted from my life so I have the best chance to achieve that vision?

I’ll start with the additions because they are easier.

I want to grow my tribe. Some people grow their tribes quite easily, I do not. It is hard for me to put myself out there. Though I’m sure my friends sometimes wish I’d shut up, to strangers, I’m an introvert. So I’ve been reaching out to folks between games on the Pickleball court and getting to know a few. If they don’t like me–who cares, that’s their loss right? Engaged is in my definition of thrive.

I want to grow the readership of this blog so I can help more people. It will require that I delve into some technical and social media stuff that I’ve largely ignored. I like to work on things I can master. I’ll never master the blogging thing–it’s a lot to learn and always changing. Learning is in my definition of thrive.

Now the tough stuff–the subtractions.

I want to be less judgmental. I’m too much like my Grandmother–few people suited her. My Grandfather could do nothing right, until he was dead . . . then you would have thought he was a saint. This trait makes for a very lonely life. Lonely is not in my definition of thrive.

At times, I drink too much. Too much is when it affects my ability to do the things I enjoy or hurts my relationships. A couple beers every now and then is enough for me. More than two or more than every now and then isn’t necessary. Drunk is not in my definition of thrive.

Sometimes I eat too much. I exercise a lot and I’m fortunate to be blessed with a pretty good metabolism so I’m carrying around fewer pounds than I deserve. That second piece of carrot cake isn’t necessary and it will be there tomorrow . . . hopefully. Overweight and unhealthy is not in my definition of thrive.

OK, two additions and three subtractions. These are manageable for me.

Now it’s your turn. What does thriving look like to you? What is in your definition of thrive? What do you hope to do with your one, beautiful life?

Photo credit: Ms. Liz visiting the Desert Botanical Gardens, Phoenix, AZ with my Mom

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Author: Ms. Liz

A CPA, I retired at 51 and I am helping people create their fantastic futures!

6 thoughts on “You Only Get One”

  1. This is always an interesting time of the year to read the FIRE blogs. Folks are both looking back and looking forward. A lot of successes, some regrets, and a lot of planning for the future/setting goals for the new year.

    I like both your additions and your subtractions, and I understand some of them will be easy, and some more difficult.

    I also find it interesting that money plays such a small part in them. It really is about people in this world.

    1. Funny, I thought I should add something about money but it would not have been genuine. I have reached a point where I don’t worry about money at all. I plan, I forecast, I monitor but I don’t worry. Money missteps are few and those I do make can easily be overcome.

      I do worry about how I can live my best life and what is holding me back from that life. Thus the additions and subtractions. I’m glad they resonated with you. New Years Eve will be my first challenge . . . stay tuned!

      I also hope to lead my readers to think about their best life and what is holding them back. So it’s great to hear from people like you, thanks for your great comment!

  2. This is a really great post, Ms. Liz. I also tend to be a bit of an introvert, and would like to grow my tribe, as you said. But I also want to keep a tight, small tribe. I’ve decided that quality is better than quantity. My health is also a top priority, so that the life I have can be as good as possible, and my activities are not limited by health issues. My mental health is a top priority too, and that was helped immensely when I retired last year at 55. Even though I did choose to go back to work as a contractor with my former employer, I only work part time, on a schedule of my choosing. That’s allowed me to feel that my life does not revolve around work. Cheers to the new year, and keeping our goals in mind!

    1. Great point about the value in a tight tribe! I love my small, tight tribe but with retirement comes more time on my hands and a desire to connect with more people. So I’ll keep working on growing that tribe.

      Congratulations on your early retirement! Retirement allows me to better look after my mental and physical health too. Getting outside to exercise helps both. It also comes with more social engagements which I love but led me to include the eating and drinking subtractions.

      I was just talking with a friend yesterday about how fun it is to work when work is a choice. It sounds like you’ve mastered that–great job.

      Thank you for your great comment and for stopping by Lisa!

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