Saturday, March 31, 2018

Stepping out of my comfort zone (& request for ideas)

I'm joining in with the Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone series started by the lovely Leslie of Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After

I've always loved learning, but tend to do it in a quiet on my own way or with one to a few others.

I was the kid that loved school, stayed in school through getting a Ph.D. and then for a career I gravitated toward one where I gather lots of information and synthesized it into meaningful and useful conclusions.

I like vacationing in new places rather than going back to the same place each time although we did repeat Yosemite a lot but then nature provides its own variety. We did go on some Road Scholar trips in Florida and enjoyed those.

I like going to plays and exhibitions that are new.

I do not tend to do a deep dive into a subject or develop a passion for a particular specific topic but in general enjoy the arts, science, the natural world and reading.

I had found my way in retirement in our former location but our move shook up all those solutions - in a good way but still I need to find new ones. Hence joining in in stepping out of my comfort zone.

I'm just starting to think about it so here are my observations and request for ideas.

1. I want a new big long term audacious project. Deciding to move across the country and to have a home ready to move into once we got there was about an 18 month audacious project that kept me engaged and busy. I need another one so time to put on my thinking cap and ask for ideas too. Have you had any in your life recently or right now?

2. Retirement has not provided as many ready made opportunities for learning as school or work did so my first learning is that I really need to work at making sure I have enough exciting learning opportunities in my life now. That will be part of my new big project going forward. Ideas?

3. I have met lots of very nice  people since we moved here. I am not that good at turning acquaintances into close friends as I am rather introverted. There must be specific steps I could take to speed up the process. Ideas?

4. When I volunteer or join a group it needs to be a situation where there is social interaction in smaller groups. I also gravitate towards having a leadership and/or planning role. So far I have only gotten involved in the Pet Club in my HOA community and became Treasurer. I'm looking into a nearby Women's Club and the local all volunteer theater. Other ideas?

5. Our family is lovely, loving and at times challenging especially in large groups. Hubby tends to pick out one person to chat with extensively at large family gatherings while I wander about and end up feeling alone and wishing I wasn't there. Hmmm. Time for a change there. Ideas?


  1. Hi Juhli - A few suggestions for your consideration:
    1. Build your art web site to display your art work, or look for local art tours/ studios to participate. This might involve technology learning, planning, selecting what to publish, meeting like-minded people, etc.
    2. Plan a trip to a new destination that you've always wanted to go to. It can be local just new to you.
    3. Do genealogy and organize a family tree book each for your sons and/ or grandchild(ren).
    4. Plan a meet up with other bloggers in your area. 5. Make it a goal to chat one on one with a family member at next gathering, and find out what's on with him or her.

    Look forward to reading your updates.

  2. Here in the UK we have an organisation called U3A or University of the Third Age. It is specifically for retired or semi retired people to encourage learning in new areas, new hobbies and socialising. A fantastic organisation. Is there nothing like it in the US?
    I now belong to our villages Women’s Institute. The organisation is countrywide and set up 100 years ago to encourage and inspire women. We hold monthly meetings with interesting speakers, socialise at craft events and arrange visits to places of interest. Also a way of making great friendships.
    Have you tried taking up a brand new hobby? I was never any good at art as a child but through taking classes in Quilting I have become interested in mixed media and textile art. The occasional day courses I take are fairly reasonably priced and I have enjoyed being pushed out of my comfort zone.
    What about volunteering in local schools? In the UK primary schools have volunteer teachers helpers for extra help listening to young people read.
    Families- this can be a difficult one. I tend to host large family gatherings for Christmas, and Easter but I am finding this increasingly difficult and tiring. I have however started to invite cousins and spouses to stay for a weekend now and again. I had not been in touch with some for years but it is fantastic to share memories and have a laugh over a drink and looking at old photos.
    To be honest I have a richer, fuller life than ever now but it has meant working at achieving this. I hope you find plenty to occupy yourself in a fulfilling way.
    Happy Easter!

    1. We do have OLLI which is like U3A and I have taken classes there the last 2 terms - just couldn't find any of high interest this term but will be back. I've always admired the Women's Institute history and organization. You have reminded me that I have seen a notice about a women's social club near me that I have been meaning to pursue. Mixed media and textile art sounds like a great hobby for you. Thanks for all of the ideas.

  3. PS. Have you thought about writing a book based on your career or experiences? Although a solitary occupation it might appeal?

  4. In British Columbia, Canada, we have university courses (non-credit) designed for retirees. My husband and I attend for a couple weeks each year. I have started a community book club and I am a member of two other book clubs as well. This keeps my reading fresh. The first year that I was retired, I attended Le Cours de la Civilisation française in Paris, a girlhood dream. I have not found satisfactory volunteer experiences at home as I am a leader/planner as well. In my retirement, I started attending my local church and that has provided another meditative aspect to my life. This year, I am back working in the school library part-time. i don't have grandchildren so it gives me opportunities for interaction with children. I hope you find the right combination for you. Happy Easter!

    1. Thanks for your comment! It is interesting that volunteering is a challenge for some of us.

  5. With a PhD, you maybe 'schooled' out but might enjoy taking some kind of for-fun course through a community college or similar environment. We took country line dancing for a semester, and I have taken sewing, and plan to sign up for a tamale-making class closer to Christmas. Perhaps you could audit a class at university? Or guest teach?

    I can relate to your feelings at social gatherings. But my husband is about as uncomfortable as I am in such instances. We don't like to sit around and chit-chat. So playing Pictionary with a group, or working a puzzle, or doing some kind of activity makes social gatherings easier for me.
    Looking forward to following your progress! Thank you for joining up with me!


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