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ABC's of retirement: survive any surprises!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Our friend Webster offers this:

"survive vt ... 2 to continue to live after or in spite of [to survive a wreck]"

"surprise n ... 4 something that surprises because unexpected, unusual, etc."

Face it, life is full of surprises. Some good, some not so good. The singular event of retirement, the transition to not working for money does not change that fact.

Think about things that surprised you over your decades of life. Many times the surprise is just in that you hadn't been paying attention while something arose, grew, or eroded. Big changes are sometimes planned, and sometimes the surprise isn't that something happened but WHEN it happened.

Illness can surprise you. A loved one having a need can surprise you. And your own behavior can surprise you... "I signed up for WHAT?" "I can't believe I fell off the wagon."

It's not a question of "if" for many of us, just "when". I was surprised by the passing of my mom's friend last week. I was surprised that my restart of healthy habits unraveled after a week or so. I was surprised at my reaction to news stories. Etc., etc., etc.

And sometimes surprises can throw us off our stride... we can withdraw or flee while our minds spin and eventually resolve them. But the important thing is that MOST of the time, these surprises don't kill us... we survive! We live on.

And if that surprise *did* throw us of the stride of our healthy habits for a while, survival means picking ourselves up, dusting ourselves off, and resuming that stride. Which might be the best surprise of all... proof that we HAVE transformed into a healthy "normal".

Surprise! emoticon emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I have a weakness in that area, resilience in the face of surprises/unexpected changes.
    I try to figure out the big picture and then stick to basic principles and then am not so good at adjusting my tracks. I do like problem solving, so usually find solutions, but wish my resolutions didn't take so long. Oh well, on a positive slant, I can't do better than my best and don't get down on myself about it for long and I learn something too.

    Thanks for your thought-provoking, insightful and perceptive blogs
    4 days ago
    Getting older is full of surprises. Oh boy, I can relate!

    You handle your surprises with careful consideration and wisdom. Hope you’re up to full stride again soon!
    5 days ago
  • ALICIA363
    I was surprised when mom's friend's daughter exclaimed my childhood name. The diminutive only family call me. That says a lot about the emotional connection after 40 years of not interacting.
    5 days ago
    5 days ago
    Surprises, good and bad yet we are able to survive, to continue, to find SUCCESS and turn our faces towards the SUN. Keep it coming!
    5 days ago
    Yes and yes :)
    5 days ago
    Thank you for sharing! Personally I'm not interested in retiring for a while - it's not all about the money!
    5 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    5 days ago
    Surprises are always there & we should be prepared to face them good or bad all the best
    5 days ago
    Yes. Life is full of surprises and we survive. And, resuming that stride when thrown of kilter as *proof* that we have transformed into a healthy normal? Absolutely!
    5 days ago
    My sister who refuses to talk to me--- is dying--- Her children called and want me to visit---kinda difficult 'cause she doesn't want to see me--- It was a shock to me a yr ago when her son called and told me about her Myeloid Leuchemia---- still upsets me a lot----was a terrible shock--like seeing my own mortality--- LOL--- lynda
    6 days ago
    Your blog today is really good and full of "surprises" that we all have to live with. Thanks for being so perceptive.
    6 days ago
    Now I'm not surprised that you are surviving your surprises -- but isn't it interesting how things just pop up at us (internally or externally). And: we've gotta cope. Because: that's the only option!!
    6 days ago
    Yes, life is full of surprises. emoticon
    6 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    Hope you had a great day
    6 days ago
    I agree! I was surprised when my hip started to complain loudly. After the first hip replacement, the doc had said the other looked good for quite some time and this decline was rather sudden compared to the first...and far more vicious! I was surprised that simple movements hurt so much and when the PT said to quit doing so much because I was wearing out other body parts, too. So, I am not fully functioning just yet at almost 3 weeks out, but close and able to manage the grandsons for extended periods of time. A week from now summer overnight visitors start arriving, so life goes on and on and on!! We do survive!
    6 days ago
    6 days ago
    All of us have some surprise that changed the direction of our lives. And not necessarily good or bad; just different. All part of the journey.

    6 days ago
    Surprises give us an excellent opportunity to learn about ourselves or others.

    Well said! emoticon
    6 days ago
    6 days ago
    I was devastated when my beloved brother died.
    Then I fell on a broken side walk & I almost lost the use of my hand.I fought to regain it back after therapy told me they could no longer help me. I went the the YMCA & swam every day 5 days a week it started to move. The only thing left it feels like it is in vice every day I will take that every day over no use.
    I had to retire early because of my hand I worked in a pharmacy for 27 years so I could not type in scripts
    All the unexpected events ran a toll on my healthy eating
    It took me 2.5 years to come around I am back to walking now . I see the tunnel I am getting out of .
    Thank you for your blog
    Have a blessed day
    6 days ago
    6 days ago
    Yes! Surprises . . . the good, the bad and the ugly . . . can definitely throw us off kilter. But that is defnitely the key . . . continuing on! Never quitting.
    6 days ago
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