IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE

It's time to have a coffee and a chat - I'll tell you all about what's been happening in my world this month #ifwewerehavingcoffee #midlife

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE

If we were having coffee these are a few things I'd be sharing from the lovely month of March. I always enjoy a good 'Taking Stock' blog post, so I hope you'll humour me and sit a while as I share my news. There's nothing like a virtual cuppa and a chat, so let's kick off April by having a look back at what went on in my world during March.

BLOGGING

March has been my month where I've begun the onerous task of going back through some of my old posts and refreshing them. Adding paragraph headings, creating pins, updating information, and generally revamping some of my 'oldies but goodies'. I'm only doing a few each week, but over time I'd like all my posts to look fresh and easy to read. My old posts were full of paragraphs without good breaks and without many pictures. It's quite rewarding to see them looking so much happier and more on point.

Other than that, I've enjoyed our #MLSTL party on Wednesdays being full to the 25 link limit. It's wonderful engaging and supporting more than 20 other Midlife bloggers every week. It's also tempting to open it up to more posts, but there's only so many that Sue and I can comment on and share before we start going cross-eyed, so it looks like it'll be first in best dressed in April - and thank you so much to each person who shares the love with us on Wednesdays.

RETIRING?

Well, this was a category I wasn't expecting to post at this age and stage of my life, but sometimes things happen and I needed to stand up for what's best for me. That equalled walking away from what I'd hoped would be the perfect job for the last 10 years of my working life. Instead, it had so much drama attached to it that eventually it's done my head in and I needed to walk away before I ended up on medication for the stress.

when work life leaves you stressed and tired
Me at work - I can see the stress in my face now that I'm more objective
There's a "?" after the Retiring header because I'm not sure what the future holds. Sometimes I think I'll just stay home and be a kitten/cat mum, other times I think I'll look for another job, or I could try building up my blog, or I could take on lots of extra-curricular activities. But, at the moment I just need to slow down, take stock, and get my head together. So, I'm reading books, patting kittens, walking, blogging, and chilling out - who knows what lies ahead, but for now it's all about having some calm and peace.

MORE-ING

So what have I done to fulfill the "More" I'm challenging myself to for 2019? Well, since leaving work earlier in the month, there's been more free time, more headspace, and more time at home. I've added "Gentle Gym" onto my fitness list - another lovely class offered by the Senior Cits Centre (another $3 per session - bargain!). So now it's Tai Chi on Fridays and Gentle Gym on Wednesdays.

I've also had More time to work on my blog so it's been More re-vamping and More tidying up the old to fit in with the new. I've written 800 posts over the last 4 years or so - and a lot of them need some TLC. So slowly, slowly I'll progress through them and maybe I'll see them getting some More love.

A TO Z OF FIRST-ING

I'm not doing the AtoZ Challenge this year, but I read a post recently by Amelia from You Can Always Start Now - and it was challenging people to do an Alphabet of Firsts for the year. It was a great idea and here's the letters I've ticked off so far:
B - visiting the Brisbane Bloggers, C - Colouring my hair, G - starting Gentle Gyme, K - getting our new Kitten, M - having my Mother-in-Law for a Meal each week, and Q - Quitting my job. So that's six letters ticked off the list. I'll report on any others next time we're having coffee.

FAMILY-ING

We had a lovely visit to Perth - catching up with our son and DIL and lovely grandgirls, and our daughter drove over to meet up with us to save us travelling even further on the day to see her. It was wonderful sharing lunch together and catching up with their news and making sure the grandgirls don't forget their country grandparents. I loved this picture their Mum took that afternoon - they're growing so fast and are just gorgeous.

The grandgirls

Our daughter also turned 30 on March 31st - how can my baby be 30 already?! She's become a remarkably capable and amazing person, and has made a success of her marriage and career - so I'm very proud to have played a small part in her life story.

Erin and Luke - Japan trip
Erin and Luke heading off to Japan a couple of months ago

KITTEN-ING

Luna has proved to be the perfect addition to our family - she seems to enjoy hanging out with me when I'm on my laptop or reading. She's very sweet but it can make reading a bit of a challenge at times! It's been an absolute joy having a Scottish Fold in the family again - they have such mellow personalities.

Luna "helping" with my reading and blogging - Scottish Fold joy #scottishfold #Luna #love
Luna assisting with my reading and blogging activities - you can see what a help she is!

READING

The book Luna is helping me read above is the second in a new Nora Roberts series Chronicles of the One. I always love her books and it's going to be a while until the final book in the trilogy is finished - so I'll be waiting with bated breath.

I also scored the latest JD Robb book - Connections In Death - I'm such a fan girl of this series that (hopefully) will never end. Long may Nora Roberts write!

Nora Roberts - Chronicles of the One + JD Robb - Connections in Death

Seeing I've had a bit more time for reading, I've also finished "The Choice" by Dr Edith Eger - what a wonderful true story about almost dying in the Holocaust, life under the Communists, and then life in America and how she overcame so much adversity to become a psychologist and an advocate for choosing not to be a victim. It was such a powerful book.

"The Choice" by Edith Eger

WATCHING

We headed off to the movies in early March to see Alita Battle Angel - a bit of a manga/sci fi action movie with lots of CGI etc. I wasn't sure whether I'd like it or not - the shorts looked like fun but the reviews weren't great. All in all, we quite enjoyed it, although it finished on a cliffhanger and there'll be at least one sequel - I'm not sure whether we'll bother going back for more.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Well that's it from me during March. What have you been up to? Any new pets, good movies, holidays or family stuff going on in your world?


It's time to have a coffee and a chat - I'll tell you all about what's been happening in my world this month #ifwewerehavingcoffee #midlife

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62 comments

  1. I totally understand the job situation. I was just let go from a job that I had been at for almost 15 years. I was so stressed at this job. I am suppose to start a new job tomorrow so I will see how this works out.

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    1. I'm impressed that you're leaping back into the workforce so quickly Dianne - my head was so done-in by the drama that I can't imagine even looking for another job for quite a while. I'm so relieved that our finances allow me to have this time away and maybe to never go back again - time will tell!

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  2. Congratulations on your earlier than expected retirement. Or -should I say your new path in life, as it may or may not include the retirement portion.
    You've been doing lots of fun things this month. So glad you're getting 'MORE' of the good things.
    I haven't heard of The Choice. It sounds like an excellent book. I'm going to go look for it.
    Thanks for sharing your March with us!

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    1. Hi Trisha - I think you'd enjoy 'The Choice' - it was very thought provoking and definitely reinforced my understanding of choosing your attitudes and responses to what life deals out to you. There are people out there who have survived remarkable levels of cruelty and not allowed it to ruin the rest of their lives - I admire that so much.

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  3. HI, Leanne - Good to see you joining us on the "retirement side of the fence"....at least for a little while. Dive right in, the water is fine! I'm impressed with all that you have been doing and have accomplished. I am especially impressed that you are now going back and cleaning out old blog posts. I look forward to reading what come next for you.

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    1. Hi Donna - this retirement gig has my name written all over it! I'm finding I'm really skilled at filling my time and getting my head back together again after all the chaos. I'm certainly not in any hurry at all to find a replacement job - and the longer I stay this way the better!

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  4. Leanne,
    Sounds like a great month -- and I love that you're giving yourself time to decide if you'll retire. Enjoy your grandbabies and kittens in the meantime.

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    1. Thanks Janet - I feel like I might be a bit young to be retired, but at the same time, I've worked for most of my adult life (with a "rest" for short periods when I had my babies) so maybe I've earnt early retirement!

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    2. Leanne, if you call having babies 'rest'! I'd say, if you can manage it financially, why not? If you can't, I totally get it. I hope you find you're real dream job. When I hit a block in my efforts, I began to think of 'revenue streams' rather than a 'job' -- and that led to an entirely new career that I love!

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    3. We can afford for me to stop Janet but I need to decide if I'm done with being in the workforce or if there's something left in me that wants to keep earning income. I do like your revenue stream idea - something to ponder.

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  5. We had so much to talk about over coffee today Leanne! I really enjoyed reading your update while you were reading mine - how timely! I love that shot of your grandgirls, they're so cute! I'm glad you'll get to see them at Easter too. I'm so keen to see my little bubby this weekend, just for a quick visit as I pick up our youngest daughter at the airport. I hope you enjoy your 'time' and it helps you decide what to do in the future, in the meantime keep updating old posts, writing new ones and reading with Luna. I do like the sound of the A-Z and might look into it again, just not an everyday for a month type of thing though! Enjoy the month ahead. I must say I really enjoy the Wednesday linkup too, it's always full of interesting people and stories.

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    1. Hi Deb - I'm completely over the AtoZ for April Challenge this year - just too much for me to wrap my head (and timeframe) around. Aiming for 26 things over the year seems a lot more do-able. I also smiled that we were actually virtually coffeeing with each other this time - in sync! Enjoy your grandbaby time and hopefully you'll get some great pics to share over the Easter break with the family xx

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  6. I have a child turning 30 this year too and I still can't quite believe it. They say that when one retires you start to fill up your life with so much that you wonder just how you found time to work. I have loads of things planned for 2 years time, my anticipated retirement date, but will I be able to say goodbye to my job?
    I am glad to find your blog and look forward to getting to know what I might have ahead of me. from Amanda in Brisbane

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    1. Hi Amanda! I'm glad you found me too and I hope you'll keep visiting. I totally understand the thing about having a child who's 30 - I feel like my daughter was 14 only a little while ago - where has the time gone? I also wasn't planning on retiring for a few years - but circumstances change and we adapt or spiral down. I think I can fill the days, but I also want to stay relevant and vital - so that's my challenge after I take these couple of months to recalibrate.

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  7. Our coffee dates come around so quickly. I'm so pleased that you made the decision you did re work - and look forward to seeing what's next...and what there'll be more of. Your daughter has such the look of you about her - 30...man! Ours has just turned 21 and I can still see her as a baby. I look forward to next months cuppa.

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    1. Hi Jo - I thought the same when I saw your daughter - there was definitely a similarity between the two of you. And yes, making the hard decision to leave has proven to be the best thing for my mental and emotional health - I was getting dragged down way too often and it gets harder and harder to bounce back - and I'm loving having less headaches!

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  8. Congratulations on your retirement(?). I love being retired and could not imagine going back to work, but that's just me. Your granddaughters are just adorable! You must have enjoyed your visit.

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    1. The longer I'm away from the daily grind of working for someone, the less I'm missing it. I thought I'd be scrabbling to find a replacement job, but retirement has a lot of allure and it seems to be suiting me atm. And yes those grandgirls of mine are delightful and I'm looking forward to more time with them at Easter.

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  9. Leanne I so understand the job situation. When I retired I figured within two months I would be looking for a part time job but here I am three years later and never give it a thought. Of course with husband so sick I would have had to quit by now anyhow. Enjoy yourself while you make a decision.

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    1. I think I will find the same thing after two months Victoria. I've given myself those couple of months to recover from the drama, but I'm not sure whether anything is going to appeal enough to go back to the 8-5 routine (even part-time). I'm hoping for a miracle job, and also preparing to not sell my soul for the sake of the almighty dollar - it's just not worth it any more.

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  10. Congratulations Leanne on taking the plunge - hey, maybe that's your 'P' word?
    I'm quite sure you'll find your miracle job when you're ready.
    Hope you have a fantastic April!

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    1. Thanks Heather - I really want to figure out the whole work/life balance thing again. I'm so tired of work sucking me dry. It's time to fit work in around me for a change.

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  11. I’m also waiting on the third in the Nora Roberts series! I also love the JD Robb books and grab the new one as soon as it hits amazon! Love the grand girls they are growing so fast!

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    1. Ahhh Rena - another Nora Roberts fan! She's just the best isn't she? I could read one of her books every day. When a new JD Robb one comes out I get so excited when I see it in a catalogue!

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  12. Being a cat person I love that picture of your kitty, just made me laugh. Best of luck with your new directions in your life! Tai Chi, you will have to write about that. I was in a study for cancer survivors over age 50 women who had chemotherapy and my arm of the study had Tai Chi twice a week looking at the impact the exercise had on balance. Another arm of the study did weight training and the third arm did yoga. I think it did help my balance and it is now proven helpful for Parkinson's disease patients with their balance issues.

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    1. I love my Tai Chi Haralee and I'm writing a guest post on it next week - will link it up to the WOM FB page. I love the exactness of it and the fluid moves (I'm much better at that than I am at my movement to music class!) And yes, our new kitten is just adorable - although reading the newspaper and books can be challenging!

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  13. Hi Leanne - Good to see you taking time out to decompress and ponder your next steps. The Choice book sounds like an excellent read. I'll look for it at my library. Thank you for co-hosting MLSTL with Sue. Have a beautiful week! #MLSTL

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    1. Hi Natalie! Thanks for the encouragement - I seem to be torn between the two camps of replies to my resignation - 1) oh good now you're retired and 2) you'll get another job in no time. I feel like I'm actually somewhere in the middle atm where both points have their positives and negatives, so I definitely need more pondering time.

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  14. I love your roundup and pretending we are friends catching up! Visiting you from the anything goes linky. laurensparks.net

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    1. Hi Lauren, thanks for dropping by and I hope you enjoyed our virtual cuppa x

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  15. Congrats on the retirement, or at least on making the healthy choice. There are always new ventures around the corner! Good luck! #MLSTL

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    1. Thanks so much Lydia - I think I'm going to wallow in doing 'not much' for a while longer and then start thinking about what new ventures await - I'd hate to think this was my final stop on the participating-in-life trip.

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  16. I left my workplace years ago now and still pondering what to do with myself. I've dabbled in this n that but still don't know what I should be doing. Great for you to have more time to pretty up the blog. I must admit that Pinterest is more most neglected social media. I don't make those perfect Pinterest pins for each post. I forget to even pin the posts. I just get no joy from Pinterest. I know it's probably to the detriment of my blog but Ugh - if I could afford to outsource that task - I would! I enjoy Instagram and that filters through to my FB page and also Twitter (which I don't go on otherwise). I need a Pinterest fairy to swoop in and fix things up for me cos it's too big a job for me to face and I don't like doing it. OK - moving on .. LOL! Love the pic of your two little granddaughters - they're so cute! AND I adore your new little kitten. I had actually never heard of Scottish Fold cats before but you learn something new every day. Thanks for the coffee! It's always fun! :-) xo

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    1. Hi Min - and yes, I understand that Pinterest has no appeal to you. I don't actually find it works well with our type of blogs (much better for food/DIY types) but I do love it for the pretty pictures and that's what I use it for the most. I'm also not on IG or Twitter so I have a bit more time for pinning - but things like Tailwind and other automated options just don't float my boat.
      Scottish Folds are the most adorable cats - funny little ears, big eyes, and mellow personalities - what's not to love (a bit like your dog really in cat form!)

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  17. Hi BBB, you sound so relaxed when I read this post and I know you have made the right decision with taking the step to leave our job. At least now you have options but at the moment why not enjoy your down time and just let your head clear and enjoy life. You have inspired me to start revisiting old posts and updating them. I've written over 1,000 posts in four years and looking at both your posts and mine we have both grown so much in how we write, our subjects and presentation of our blogs. A big thumbs up to us I think is in order. Well done you with the AtoZ addition - you are very creative in your thoughts BBB. Have a wonderful April. My March was full of selling a house, packing, spending time with Rachel and her boys, #MakingMarchMeaningful and preparing for our half marathon run. Life is certainly not dull! I wouldn't want to host a linkup with anyone but you, now. #MLSTL

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    1. Hi BBB - yes, March for you sounds pretty hectic, you'll be so happy once the sale of the house is finalized and you're settled somewhere and can breathe again. I'm certainly enjoying having some room in my head to think about something other than how to cope with each new work day. I'm still not sure what the future holds, but I don't need to know at this stage - I can just enjoy the peace and being out of the drama!
      You've written even more posts than I have - and yes, I can see a big difference between my old stuff and my present stuff. I haven't reached perfection, but I have found a happy medium and it would be nice to get a lot of my older posts looking more like the current ones - especially the ones I link back to occasionally - BIG job!

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  18. Leanne! I'm so excited for you that you have eliminated work stress by retiring! Best thing I ever did, but of course I still work part-time just teaching. Best gig ever! You are one busy lady and you will have no problem keeping yourself entertained. Keep the stress levels low like others have said and enjoy the down time. And don't quantify every hour to your hubby like I did, LOL!

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    1. Hi Terri - thanks so much for the encouragement. It was a BIG decision to pull the pin on that job - it was so close to being everything I wanted for the last 10 years of my working life - but drama got in the way and every time I re-visit it in my head I feel the stress start to build again. I'm definitely going to take some time for myself and then I'll worry about whether I need to add more or work again down the track.

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  19. I love the way you do your recap - as if we were having coffee :) I'm super impressed that you have 800 blog posts! I have 8 lol. I'm sure it will be awesome - a bit like finding a box of old letters when you read back over them all. Remember the detail of those moments you wrote about :)

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    1. I had 8 posts back in 2014 - and here we are 4.5yrs later and I have over 800! I thought I'd blog for 6mths max and run out of things to say, but the connections and the sheer joy of writing with no purpose other than to share my thoughts just sucks me in every time. Glad you enjoyed our virtual coffee and I hope you'll be back for my next one at the end of April x

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  20. Awesome catchup. Shared on my Social Media. #MLSTL

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  21. So glad that you're enjoying your semi-retirement - although it sounds as if you're protiring to me :) Your kitten looks soooo cute, and wow how do you manage to read so many books - I think I must be the world's slowest reader as I've managed one book this month and dabbled with recipes from another. Your daughter is the splitting image of you - very beautiful :) #MLSTL and Shared on SM

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    1. Hi Jo - thanks for the lovely compliment about Erin and me :) And I like the pro-tiring terminology - I certainly don't feel like a pensioner just yet. I still have a lot to figure out and I look at what other people (like you, Sue, and the other bloggeing girls) are doing with your lives and I know there's still a lot more left to accomplish.

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  22. Interesting that you "refresh" blogs... I rewrite pieces of posts when I submit them to other sites (a little tailoring...), but I don't typically change older posts that remain on my own site. You've given me something to think about!

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    1. Quite often I'll link to an older post in a current one and when I open it I'll see how boring it looks and realize that all the posts I wrote in the first year or two look like that. Once I discovered how much better they look with paragraph headings and a few pictures and better fonts, the more I felt the need to spruce them up a bit. I don't actually change much of what I've written - they reflect what I was thinking at the time - but I do like them looking "prettier" and more Pinnable.

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  23. Hello again! Still love this post. Sharing for MLSTL

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    1. Hi Trisha - and thanks so much for the shares xx

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  24. Oh my gosh I love your cat! It's so nice to meet a fellow cat lover here in Blog Land as I've had too many run-ins with cat haters. They can be so mean! I'm a stay-at-home kitty mom myself and love it.

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    1. She's the cutest little thing Amy and yes, dog lovers seem to be more prominent than cat people. We were dog people up until a few years ago when our little dog died of old age, since then we've stuck to cats because they are less needy and easier to manage at this age and stage.

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  25. It sounds like you've had one heck of a month, Leanne. Congrats on the retirement? I can understand the stress of some jobs and when it affects your health, it's time to move on. Kudos to you that you were able too. You have such a beautiful family! I just want to cuddle right up with that kitty! Since you have more free time on your hands, do you think you'll possibly get another job or maybe because an entrepreneur? Whatever it is you do, I'm sure you'll do great!

    @MsBrenSays

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    1. Hi Bren - lovely to see you back visiting again. I'm so relieved to be out of the work drama and I'm giving myself a few months to recuperate from it before making any big decisions. I don't see myself becoming a blogging entrepreneur unfortunately (unless I'm miraculously discovered in the meantime) and I don't absolutely have to work, so I'll be weighing things up as the year progresses to decide what fits best for the future - it's a big change after working for 40+ years!

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  26. Oh my goodness, our retirement "choice" stories are so similar - the perfect job having the life sucked out of it... and it broke my heart to see how many others put their pensions above their mental health. Here I am, 6-7 years later and loving the life that has appeared, busier than ever in the very best way! Enjoy your downtime, Leanne - the right thing will appear when you are ready... who knows who and/or what is around the next corner!! Congratulations on making the brave choice!

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    1. Oh Agnes, thanks so much for the encouragement and understanding. It's been so hard having the "perfect" job pulled out from underneath me - having the choice of staying and becoming a mental mess, or leaving it and not finding anything else that motivates me to get back into the 9-5 grind.
      I'm going to be kind to myself and allow myself some time to adjust and decide what comes next - I'd love to find another perfect job but I'm getting quite cynical about the chances of that after this last one.

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  27. I love your coffee catch-ups, Leanne. Thanks for sharing a little of your life with us. Your grandgirls are beauties! Our youngest daughter turns 35 this week. How can that be?!? Our oldest grandson is 18. Wow. Thanks, once again, for hosting #MLSTL. I like that you hold the size to 25. It feels more intimate. Happy April!

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    1. Hi Christie - I know what you mean about our kids getting so old! Our son is 33 in a couple of months - I feel like they were both teenagers and driving us crazy in different ways only a few years ago. How can time pass so quickly? And yes, Donna really encouraged us not to take on more than 25 posts for MLSTL and it feels like a good fit for everyone (and especially for Sue and me to be able to vist everyone).

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  28. Leanne, good for you for walking away from a stressful job. Life is too short to be stressed all the time. When I left my job four years ago and we moved, I thought I would look for another job. Then I realized that staying home was cheaper and we could live without the money. I have since been plenty busy finding things to do and writing and planning my daughter's weddings that now I can't imagine going back to work. Life is very fulfilling now. Take time before you rush back in and see what your soul says!

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    1. Thanks so much for the encouragement Michele - I thought I needed to stay or find something to replace the income, but you're right, I can afford to not work (it's a lot cheaper when I'm home and saving petrol etc) and I love that the days just flow without the stress of working for someone else (who doesn't appreciate it!) and dealing with all that goes with it. Life is definitely getting shorter and I want to enjoy every moment of it that I can!

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  29. Since starting my new blog I have brought most of my old blog posts over from the other blog and I am revamping them as well. It's been some work but it's so worth it. I also love Tai Chi! It's one of my favorite activities. I do some gentle exercises as a part of my daily routine and it really helps with all the sitting I do while blogging and writing. #AnythingGoes

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  30. Luna is just adorable!
    And I am inspired by your efforts to update your old posts. That's something I keep thinking I should do. Now . . .here's a question. When you update them, do you reshare them or are you simply updating them so they will look better in your archive?

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  31. Working somewhere that is sucking the life out of you is not worth any amount of money. I have never thought of updating old post but now will have to think about doing that.

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  32. It must be so refreshing to walk away from a stressful job! My husband is thinking about starting a business in another town which would allow me to resign from my teaching job. I'm actually looking forward to it although a move might be a little stressful! Thanks for sharing with us at The Blogger's Pit Stop!

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Thanks so much for your comment - it's where the connection begins.