I'M LIVING MY BEST LIFE EVERY DAY

Life isn't perfect, but it's full of perfect moments every day. Let's look for those moments, and live the best life we can every day.

I'M LIVING MY BEST LIFE EVERY DAY

I used to feel envious when I saw other people living really happy and content lives. I'd wonder how they could have it all when I was so busy trying to keep all the balls in the air. I think a lot of my discontent came from the scarcity mindset I'd lived with all my life. I never felt like I was on top of things - there were always bills to be paid, work to be done, chores to finish, responsibilities to juggle. Life kept rolling along and I was so busy trying to keep up with it all that the days passed and I never really felt like I was living.

It took until I was 50 before I began to wake up to myself and see that all that diligence might have been tiring and at times made me feel a little resentful, but it had paid off and set us up for what we have today. I realized I could throttle back on all the "should do" and "would do" and "must do" and could start asking myself what living a good life would really look like, and the answer surprised me.

WHAT IS LIVING MY BEST LIFE?

I think some people struggle with the idea that it's possible to live their best life every day because to them it means having the perfect life with all the bells and whistles - money to burn, a magnificent home, luxury cars, international travel, expensive meals, fashionable clothes, and all the "toys" that we adults like to collect. What I've come to see is that I don't really want any of that rich and famous lifestyle pizzaz because it just isn't "me" - all I actually need to live contentedly is a quiet life and a sense that all is calm in my world.

I can look back at the investment I put into our marriage, the focus we placed on helping our children to become well balanced, independent and responsible adults, the time and effort of working, saving and becoming debt free, contributing as a volunteer, and basically pouring myself into so many different areas of life and I can smile and say - "phew, boxes ticked and jobs complete". I can let our kids get on with successfully living their lives and I could finally kiss the job from hell goodbye and start enjoying some of the fruit of my labours.

“Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like and celebrating it for everything that it is.” ~Mandy Hale.

BEGINNING TO LIVE MY BEST LIFE

Once I got over the idea that my life was changing, the nest was well and truly empty, and early retirement was on the horizon, I settled into a new way of living. I'd never had so much free time and I'd never had the freedom and flexiblity to do what I wanted to do whenever I wanted to do it. It took quite a while for the realization to set in that this was my new normal and I was my own boss - Wow! Just Wow!

I kept asking my husband if I should be (yes, there's a "should be" in there again) looking for a job, if I needed to be doing something to 'justify my existence' or if I needed to be doing something to pay my way? He assured me that I'd more than pulled my weight over the years and it was okay to relax and start thinking about a new way of life and allowing myself to live on my own terms and on my own timetable - another big Wow! from me because that seemed like a foreign concept after all those diligent decades.

ENJOYING MY BEST LIFE EVERY DAY

I watch "Good Bones" (the TV renovation show) and a little theme song comes on occasionally in the background. It's a guy singing "I'm living my best life every day". I have no idea who the singer is, but that line just seemed to sink into my heart when I heard it, and I thought to myself - Yes! That's me! I'm living my best life - every day! I'm not exactly sure when it happened, when life settled into such a pleasant place, but I'm so grateful for where I am now.

Living my best life is small and simple for me. I'm not doing anything to set the world on fire, I'm not solving the problems of the world, or finding a cure for cancer.....but I'm happy. I'm content in my little neck of the woods. I look forward to waking up every day and never dread what's coming in the hours ahead. I don't worry about work politics, or what to wear, or whether there's going to be a new problem or upset - life is smooth and easy - and I love it. I think it just might be one of the biggest blessings this second half of life has granted me so far - and I think life will just keep getting better if I choose to be grateful, and to appreciate all that I have and the small joys that appear every day.

And then it happens… One day you wake up and you’re in this place. You’re in this place where everything feels right.

SEASONAL UPDATES OF LIVING MY BEST LIFE

For several years now I've been posting a monthly update on what's been going on in my life, it was easy to slot them in because I was posting at least twice a week. Now that I've reduced my blogging down to once a week, I've decided to switch things out a little bit and only share my catch-up post once a quarter. 

In keeping with my intention of Living My Best Life Every Day, I thought 'what better title could I give it than that'? So, next week will be the first of my quarterly updates and it'll be what's been going on over Summer here in Western Australia (with a little bit of Autumn tossed in if it gets lucky!) I really want to keep my eyes focused on the small joys that are a part of every day and sharing them here every few months seems like the perfect way to tie that in with the blog. So tune in next Monday for my first update.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Are you content with your life? Do you wake up each morning with a smile and with anticipation of another good day ahead? Or are you still pushing through and trying to find some joy in your day? My "Best Life" is a small simple one - it's not hard to maintain, and maybe that's where you could begin - start small and see where life leads you next.

RELATED POSTS



Life isn't perfect, but it's full of perfect moments every day. Let's look for those moments, and live the best life we can every day.

Life isn't perfect, but it's full of perfect moments every day. Let's look for those moments, and live the best life we can every day.
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Cresting the Hill - a blog for Midlife (Middle Aged / 50+) women who want to thrive

52 comments

  1. I also wonder about the before and the now, Leanne. Dealing with a huge, unlimited to do list, has allowed a comfortable “today.” A great phrase “fruits of our labour.” With an element of luck and good health thrown in. My goal is also “a quiet life.” My girlfriend of many years constantly hears me say, “all I want is boring.”🙂 Your word “peace” resonates with me on many levels. I LOVE everything about your intention “Living My Best Life Every Day.” I look forward to reading your update.xx

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    1. Hi Erica - I think exactly that about living life now - I feel like the hard work is behind me and maybe it's time to reap some of the rewards. I may not have it all, but I have more than enough and it always comes back to gratitude over scarcity. We choose our attitude and it blossoms from there doesn't it? Nothing beats a peaceful life x

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  2. Such a great post. This is something that I really need to remember in my life. Thanks for sharing this great reminder. Stealing the first meme and putting it on other social media. So very cool.

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind words Patrick - and for sharing the meme. I just took a step back and really looked at my life and realized that it's pretty darn good - the world might be in a turmoil, but I'm choosing to focus on what I have, rather than on what I can't have :)

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  3. Leanne, While right now I wake up thinking about packing and unpacking (running scenarios through my head), I do get what you are talking about. I recently had an aha moment - I realized that my life before retirement was pretty much just work. Now, it's morning journaling and coffee, yoga, Zumba, beach walks, doing the daily crossword, being in a book club, taking courses on things of interest, planning a garden, having fun trying to cook new things, and so much more. No, I'm not saving the world nor being "productive". But my life is full... so much fuller than when I was working. I'm doing all these things I never had time for. And that was really an aha moment. I never had a work life balance - now I'm living life...not working!

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    1. Beautifully said Pat - it really is amazing to think that our lives right now are so full of leisure pursuits that bring us joy. There will always be times of turmoil (all that packing and shifting for you atm!) but they pass and the peace settles back in again - the hard work has paid off and life is pretty darn good. I'm glad you had your aha moment to balance some of your current stress x

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  4. Hi Leanne, When I was in my 20s and 30s I was always striving towards something - trying to achieve a great house, career and possessions. When I let go of wanting to keep up with the Jones's my happiness and contentment grew. It's ok to want to improve your life but sometimes it's more fulfilling to be grateful for what you have and not be chasing those endless goals. Thanks for another thought provoking post, Christina

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    1. Hi Christina - I was always looking at others and comparing myself to who they were and what they had - it is a really unhealthy way to live life isn't it? When I finally woke up to the fact that my life is actually really good and I have all I need and more, contentment settled in and I can't think of a single person I'd swap lives with these days - so that must be a good sign :)

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  5. Hi, Leanne - As usual, there are numerous great gems in this post. Living our best life can be small and simple. We do not need to set the world on fire. Living our best life means being content with who we are, and grateful for all that we have. I agree with these awesome gems 100%!

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    1. Hi Donna - beautifully said and exactly what I was getting at. I think when we pause long enough to look at who we are and what we have, it would be a very ungrateful person indeed who couldn't be happy with their life. So much water under the bridge, but it's brought me to a very pleasant place for this second half of life.

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  6. Hi Leanne, it's great to read how your are enjoying your life these days and how you came to get to this point. Although I'm no longer working I'm still busy but it's on my terms these days, no-one else's. I like to keep things fairly simple but there are days when I have more than enough on my plate and I'm happy with that, no two days are the same. Living our best life is the goal of many but not everyone manages to get there, so well done you! Great post and I look forward to your update next week :)

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    1. Hi Deb - it's all about choosing our attitude isn't it? Good days, bad days, busy days, quiet days - they can all be good days if we remember how fortunate we are to be alive and doing so well. I wake up every morning with a smile these days - no more dreading Mondays or feeling stressed or powerless - life is very good indeed.

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  7. Right now I am balancing the demands of my job (enjoyable, no doubt) and what I personally would like to do. I am really looking forward to those days when I will have fewer commitments and lead a life that is more relaxed.

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    1. Life just keeps getting better Pradeep - it's great that you enjoy your job (as you know, mine had become a misery) but once you have all the freedom that retirement brings with it, you realize that life is now completely on your own terms and that is a truly amazing feeling - best life ever!

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  8. Hi Leanne. It's Christina. I started living my best life when I got on that plane, over 11 years ago, and began a perpetual travel lifestyle. We're in a new phase of that lifestyle, but it just keeps getting better and better. I'm so glad you are happy, too. xx

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    1. Hi Christina - I'm so in awe of you and Cheryl and your courage and sheer audacity - to live life in a completely different part of the world and to settle in and thrive just inspires me every time I think of you both - definitely living your best life every day!

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    2. I would be absolutely miserable living back in Australia! I don't know if my need for the strange, difficult and exotic comes from courage, but you might be on the right track regarding audacity! Yes, I'm definitely thriving, and I believe that Christina is too! xx

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  9. Leanne - You're right that it isn't the size of your life or how much you have accumulated, it truly is about living your own, personal best life! H.

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    1. Hi Helen - I think it can mean different things to different people - but if you aren't living life with a smile on your face (especially when you're in the second half of it) then you really need to ask yourself what needs to change and to start the journey towards a more joyful and fulfilling life - it's just the best isn't it?

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  10. Great post!
    I love a peaceful, meaningful life!!
    Since my husband retired, he’s been yelling at me a lot and criticizing little things I do.
    I don’t know how much more I can take.

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    1. Oh Victoria that is so sad and I'm so sorry to hear that he's behaving like that. Retirement can be such a joy, but I guess to some people the adjustment is difficult and they take it out on others. I hope he seeks help because it sounds like he's very unhappy and to be hurting the person he loves as a reaction to that unhappiness is just adding to the misery. I hope change happens and life becomes more peaceful for you both. xxx

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  11. I love this post. I, too, am enjoying a much slower pace of living that I am so grateful for. The nagging little "should I be..." questions do pop into my mind, usually when I start comparing myself to others or feeling guilty for not doing more of what the world would see as "important" things. I check those thoughts, though, when I remember that it wasn't easy getting to this point, and that what I do is important to my family, which is all that matters to me. I feel calmer and more at peace now than I have, I think, since childhood. Thanks for another great post, Leanne!

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    1. Hi Laura - so much of what you wrote resonates with me - I have those moments of comparison and wondering if I should be doing more to set the world on fire. Then I realize that it's okay to not be the star of the show, to just enjoy the peace and contentment that comes from putting in the hard yards and reaping the results of a job done well. All those years of nose to the grindstone and doing my best has allowed me the life I have now and I'm grateful for that every single day.

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  12. I'm definitely *more* content than I have been in the past and don't *need* some of what I used think I needed (and possibly did need back in those days). It's made me realise what is important to me though - and that's freedom - financial freedom, the freedom to take up opportunities and have new experiences, the freedom to create a body of work I'm proud of. I suspect I'll continue to chase that down for some years yet.

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    1. Hi Jo - when I did my core values assessment when everything was up in the air after leaving work, the top two were freedom and flexibility, so I totally get what you're saying. I am grateful every day to not be tied to things that confined me or meant I couldn't do what brought me joy. I think you have to put in the work and do all the foundation building before you reach that lovely space in life where you have the freedom to do what you feel is "you" and that is different for everyone (and the financial requirements are different too!) I'm just happy that things worked out so well for us and by not needing much, we can easily sustain the life we have now - bliss....

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  13. I'm not a fan of most home shows but I love Good Bones. Mina and Karen are so down to earth, much more so than many hosts. I am struggling with the balance of health and work because our system of being doesn't allow for the young to have health needs, so I really have no idea how that will play out.
    -Vanessa

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    1. Hi Vanessa - nice to meet another Good Bones fan - I love them both too - just fun, happy people doing stuff they love with people they love (and being paid for it - winning!) And I'm sorry that your health is impacting on your quality of life - I feel so fortunate to have been relatively robust thru life - but I must say that it's SO nice now to not have to worry about sick leave, or juggling things when something isn't as healthy as I'd like it to be. One thing I would add is that through all the turmoil of life, things eventually seem to work out better than we expect xx

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  14. I think you are so right Leanne. We have to get rid of that scarcity mindset. We can live our best lives every day with our fancy cars or expensive clothes. I watch Good Bones sometimes. I am going to pay closer attention and try to hear that song. I do feel like I am living my best life now sicne I have been retired. I have time to do the things I want to do!

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    1. Hi Laurie - I am constantly surprised by how lovely retirement is - it's something I never expected to be doing before I hit my mid 60's and if things had worked out I'd still be going to my old job with all its stress and drama - and now I couldn't think of anything worse. Even compared to a great job, retirement wins hands down for the freedom and the luxury of doing things on my own terms - just lovely.

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  15. It's so wonderful to read how content you are and that you're happy with your lot and seeing how you are reaping the benefits of all that you've put into your life and family over the decades. I'm certainly a lot more content since I left the corporate life but I'm not quite where you are just yet. My husband is still working and I still have two of my three offspring living at home - so it's a different dynamic for me at the moment. Nevertheless, I'm very grateful that I was able to leave the corporate world and have more time to focus on my health and wellbeing as it was very much needed!

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    1. Hi Min - I think we assume we can keep doing something forever when in fact it's a blessing when that ends (even if it wasn't our choice). It allows us to have the time we need to focus on things we enjoy doing, to allow room for getting older, to not have to fight to be heard or to have some consideration given to us for all we bring to the table. I love that being forced to make that decision to leave turned out to be so much better than I ever assumed it would at the time. Once you kick out those adult kidlets and life smooths out even more, who knows what will come along to make your life even more lovely (altho sitting by your pool with a book and a cold drink seems pretty good to me!)

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  16. What a great post! I also retired young-at 58. I appreciate my simple life every day just like you! Thank you for writing posts that help me appreciate what I have!

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    1. My absolute pleasure - I just keep being surprised at how much I love this "choice" I may have been thrust into it, but it's turned out to be the best thing for me and nothing beats waking with a smile every day. Thanks so much for sharing the journey with me x

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  17. It's a refreshing read here Leanne, as have been all of your posts once you let "that job" and any obligation go to continue to find work.Your inner peace shines through.

    Thank you for linking up your blog post to Life This Week #232. Lots of interesting comments from bloggers this time about "good". Next week, the optional prompt is Heroic....that too might generate more conversation...and THAT is what I love about hosting a link up on my blog. See you there. Denyse.

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    1. Hi Denyse - I'm sure you can relate to the sense of release and freedom after leaving a demanding and stressful job behind. I look at the occasional job vacancy that pops up and just can't face applying - going back to that pressure again has absolutely no appeal for me these days - peace and serenity all the way for me!

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  18. With three boys underfoot I tend to be somewhere in the middle.. I have two in high school so I know those empty nest days are coming sooner than I'd like! But mostly yes, I do feel like I am living my best life most days.

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    1. Hi Joanne - I was the same when I had my kids, my job, my volunteering, and all my other commitments - there were little bits of joy in amongst it all, but also a lot of hard work and busyness that took up large chunks of my time. As the responsibilities start to reduce, the fun things start to increas - and that's really lovely.

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  19. Great post LEanne....Funny how things work.....I shared a post on Scarcity vs. Sufficiency. I'm still working, but I love my job, and while I suppose I could look for a job that pays more, and has benefits,(my hubby wouldn't complain to that) I can say I do "love it". My ideal would be to stay home...I got to stay home with my girls and only re-entered the "outside home" work world 7 years ago because we have goals of getting debt free, finishing our house, etc...put retirement money aside...For 4 years I helped an older gal in her home, and now have the job I currently have. It's in our town, It's 4 days a week...so if I NEED to work outside the home, I truly want to love it. I'm also a VA and if I Could find a way to make full time money doing that, I would. Anyways....I've rattled on....but this is so excellent!!!!! Visiting from weekend coffee share

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    1. Hi Kirstin - I really liked how our posts interconnected this week - I think when you recognize a scarcity mindset and start moving away from that world view, your life opens up and you discover so many blessings that you overlooked previously. I worked to help get us debt free and that was my life for the last 40 years, but as the mortgage disappeared, and the kids left home and started their own lives, the outgoings decreased and we found that we can live very pleasantly on very little - it's a nice stage of life to be in (where you get to choose whether you work or not). I think you're definitely on the right path x

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  20. Leanne, You're in a well-earned phase of life. I'm glad to hear you're living your best life every day. I wake up with a smile and feel excited for a new day. I'm my "Chief Life Explorer" :)

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    1. Hi Natalie - I can hear that in your posts each week - you live such an interesting and intentional life - filling your days with fun things and keeping your mind busy - you are the poster child for living your best life :)

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  21. Great post. I just found your blog by chance and glad that I did. I turned 50 in October2020 and to be honest, I have mixed emotions. Some days I'm positive about this next phase of life, but other days, I'm feeling low; like where did the time go. This posts definitely gives me a much needed, positive outlook on life. It's time for me to focus on Living my Best Life too.

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    1. Hi - I'm so glad you found me too. I was struggling with much the same mindset when I turned 50 - kind of 'what's left?' and 'where did my youth go?' But when you turn things around and realize that this second half of life is a new beginning - one where you can focus on figuring out who you are without all the roles (wife/mother/employee/daughter etc etc) and you get to choose what areas you want to grow in and which you want to discard. I'm fast approaching 60 and a lot less concerned about it than when 50 was looming. I think I'm just grateful for how good my life is and how the ups and downs have actually resulted in a pretty great stage of life. I do hope you'll keep coming back for encouragement and connection xx

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  22. Well said Leanne. Thanks for reinforcing such a great mindset.

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    1. Thanks Gary - I think it's all about how we look at life and the response we choose in the process that makes every day a great day.

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  23. Hi Leanne I love how people are so diverse in what brings happiness and purpose to their lives. It is great to see that you are happy as many are still striving for this and never attain it. For me, I'm happy when I'm busy. My purpose is all about making the most of each day, learning, inspiring others and enjoying connection with my family, friends and especially my grandsons. If I sit for days on end I get edgy and 'toey' and Mike usually says 'go for a run'. Horses for courses and wouldn't it be a boring world if we were all the same? #weekendcoffeeshare

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    1. Hi Sue - I think that's the thing isn't it? What makes us happy is different for each of us, but if we get to do those happy things every day (or find a little happy thing every day) then life is pretty fabulous. I think acknowledging the good things and focusing on the fact that we have so much goodness in our lives helps us live our best lives. You are doing so many amazing things with your retirement - things you never would have had the time for if you were still working - and that's why retirement is part of the best life recipe (well it is for me anyway) x

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  24. Hi Leanne, I've spent most of my life doing what I want and not what I 'should'. I changed jobs when I got bored, moved house when I needed a change, and left 'home' to go to Russia because I just wanted to! I do consider myself lucky that I've been able to have such freedom during most of my life. Funnily enough, I wasn't always happy, and didn't start each day feeling good. I guess there's more to life than just having freedom. It's so nice that you're doing what feels right for you and that your husband understands your needs and doesn't prevent you from going for it!!

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    1. Hi Cheryl - I've never completely understood how some people can be so adventurous and others are so risk averse. I've come to see how many things I've probably missed out on because I wasn't able to not do what I 'should' and I just wasn't good at rocking the boat or choosing to put my own interests first. It's never too late to make a change though and I intend to live the second half of life a lot more freely than I did in the first half! You're my role model :)

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    2. Yes, it's never too late to make a change, but it's also a good idea to let the past be past (no regrets) and focus only on today. Make every day count! Oh, I've never been a role model before (not that I know of, anyway), so I'll do my best to continue inspiring you! xx

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  25. Hi Leanne, I really enjoyed this post and it's certainly given me alot to think about. The thing I'm a little nervous about is wanting to retire a little earlier than my husband. You mentioned it slightly in this post about feeling guilty like you should be looking for another job. I wonder if my husband will be as generous as your husband was by saying "you've done enough". I'm very much a person who feels guilty about alot of things (overthinker extraordinaire) so I would love to know how you transitioned away from feeling a bit guilty about early retirement?

    Btw I am so obsessed with Good Bones. I love everyone in the show but of course the relationship between Karen and Mina gives me many laughs and I love their style.

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    1. Hi Lisa - yes, Karen and Mina are both so genuine - and that shines through doesn't it? In answer to the rest of your comment, I've sent you an email because I'd be much too long winded writing here! :)

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