The quality of our life is determined so much more by who we are, not by what we accomplish, so why not focus on be-ing instead of do-ing?
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I used to be a very busy person. I used to juggle several different roles each week - and often had a few on the burner on any given day. I was proud of all I could accomplish and how many things I could tick off my to-do list; my self-worth was firmly attached to my productivity.

Since leaving work and settling into retirement, I find my priorities have shifted significantly. I don't find my sense of achievement in how much I can cram into my week, instead I'm finding it in who I'm becoming and the qualities I want to invest in to get there...


When I chose "Equanimity" as my Word of the Year for 2024, I knew it was to steer me towards an inner core of certainty and stillness. I wanted to be centered and at peace, regardless of what was happening around me. It's not easy for me to disengage from the niggling stresses that life throws my way - I tend to want to get everything sorted out and tied with a pretty bow.

I'm coming to see that it often takes time for things to work themselves out. Upsets and upheavals eventually pass, but they don't come with an instantaneous fix. I'm finding that the challenges they bring with them are mine to work through, they're teaching me to worry less, to release my need to control everything, and to realize that sometimes I just have to let stuff go and see what comes to take its place.....whether it be relationships, life's random hiccups, health issues, or whatever.


The second half of life has brought me into a time and place where I have space to figure out who I want to be, which character traits need to be worked on, which traits need to be cut out, and which traits are good and can be developed even more. I know I haven't been the world's calmest and most patient soul, I know I get rattled easily by uncertainty, I know I can be insecure and defensive if I feel I'm being treated unfairly, and I know there's lots more that I'm less than proud of, but that am working on every day.

In the process, I've discovered that I can worry less, I can go with the flow, I can be less tied to the opinions of others, and I can be an encourager, a cheerleader, a voice, and someone who loves those in her circle, and cares for those outside of that circle. I can see that I'm slowly becoming more of who I'd like to be, more of who I think God designed me to be.....it's daunting, but also exciting to know that this next phase of life holds the potential to become so much more than I've been so far.


The quality of our life is determined more by who we are, rather than by only focusing on what we accomplish. I recently saw a list of ways to "be" that I thought were so much more relevant for my goal of becoming a more centered person than any to-do list could ever achieve:

I would like to be....

●︎ mindful

●︎ aware

●︎ peaceful

●︎ a person who seeks reasons to smile and laugh

●︎ loving

●︎ appreciative

●︎ forgiving

●︎ thoughtful

●︎ supportive

●︎ still

●︎ quiet

●︎ faithful

●︎ honest

These are the areas I'll be focusing on as my year of Equanimity progresses. It's never too late to become who you truly are - and I love that we have the potential to be deep, caring, peaceful human beings who bring a sense of equanimity within us whenever we're in contact with our turbulent world.


Are you a do-er or a be-er, or a little of both? I don't think we can ever be completely one or the other, but I like the idea of finding better ways to "be" as the focus in my life as opposed to just ticking off boxes each time I complete another task.


The quality of our life is determined so much more by who we are rather than by what we accomplish, so why not focus on be-ing instead of do-ing?


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Cresting the Hill - a blog for Midlife (Middle Aged / 50+) women who want to thrive
The quality of our life is determined so much more by who we are rather than by what we accomplish, so why not focus on be-ing instead of do-ing?


  1. It’s about becoming more..over time.. bringing you to a place so greater ease and inner calm, and even when stuff can upset that situation, you already have tools in your growth mindset that can help you. It’s a great way to be(coming) I am definitely identifying with a lot of this with you! Denyse

    1. Hi Denyse - it may have taken us a while to get the hang of it, but I definitely think we're both getting there. Once you decide that what you do isn't who you are, then all sorts of new ways of "being" open up to be explored. x

  2. Hi Leanne - You have opened my mind to an entirely new way of looking at the "to do" aspect every day. Indeed, it's all about "who we are" more than "what we do". It is the first that leads to the second.
    By the way, I have about 8 months to go before I hit 60 years and I retire, and your posts are in many ways are preparing me for that new phase in my life.

    1. Hi Pradeep - how nice to think that I've played a small part in the process of preparing for retirement. You're on the home straight now and I definitely think that becoming someone who isn't tied into the 9-5 work mindset is going to be about the things you want to be rather than all the things you're currently doing.

  3. I think I am definitely a little of both!

    1. Hi Jo - I think getting older has finally given me time to swing from one end of the spectrum to the other - you're probably somewhere nicely in the middle atm :)

  4. I love your 'To Be' list. Definitely need to remind myself more often. Overall, I'm a bit of a Be'Er and a Do'Er although as I've eased into my sixties I've found that the drive and energy to accomplish things I once thought completely necessary, just aren't there anymore. I think the focus is now more on grandchildren, and being there for our children as they grow into parenthood, and also retirement with a big R. Although as a writer/creator I don't think I'll ever really retire because blogging is like a hobby gone mad! And spending time "do-ing' something you love is not only an accomplishment but also a state of 'be-ing' (and in the zone) I think.

    1. Hi Jo - I think you're one of the most successful bloggers I know - and that means that you'll be do-ing much more in that area than a lot of us. I love seeing where it's taken you and the interesting things you write about. But, as with you, I find the family is still an ongoing focus for me - more of an interest than work as they're so self-sufficient (which is really nice). I'm definitely finding my 60's to be a time of contemplation and consideration about how I want this final third of life to look like and the person I want to keep growing into. Thanks so much for your thoughtful response. :)

  5. Hi, I struggle with days when I do nothing. I'm still so tied to my to-do and checking things off! But I do like this idea of trying to focus more on becoming. I went to the Little Buddha article (thanks for the link) and really like the questions to ask yourself at the end of the day - the ones which help you realize if you're "becoming" the person you want to be or not. Definitely going to think about those more. I don't think I can ever give up my to-do lists though!

    1. Hi Pat - I don't think there's anything wrong with to-do lists....but I think we can include character qualities in them as well as activities. The idea of becoming a deeper, kinder, more engaged human being is so much more important to me than whether I accomplished every small activity goal I could set myself. I'm coming to see that we need to be intentional in how we age - or we'll be disconnected, grumpy old women - and the world has enough of those already :D

  6. I love your to-be list, Leanne. I spent the first half of my life being a to-doer for sure. I still am to a certain extent, but I find that even my to-dos now are more centered around who I want to be and those character traits I would like to continue to cultivate in myself. I so appreciate the freedom this stage of life has given me to be able to take this kind of intentional journey into myself.

    1. Hi Christie - the first half of life for me was all about the to-do's as well. It's such a blessing to find out that the second half of life gives us the time and headspace to be able to focus on the person we have the potential to become. I like the idea of becoming a wise woman as I age...

  7. I'm probably a bit of both Leanne! Your list is a great one full of positives and goals to aim for. Go you!

    1. Hi Deb - I think I'm a bit of both too - but I'm hoping to lean more towards be-ing rather than do-ing in this final third of life :)


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