The Habits of Happiness–a TED Talk

I recently used the term ‘play ethic’ [as opposed to work ethic]. Along with ‘trying new’, a play ethic is vital to positive vibes at the end of a day.

And now it’s time to turn to someone who’s looked even more deeply into ‘happiness’.

See if this talk by Matthieu Ricard doesn’t sharpen your own approach to an enriched retirement.


Retirement Pondering Point: “We’re in our fourth quarter.”


I was talking to my longtime friend on the phone this morning and, as we reflected on the life and struggles of a 92-year-old acquaintance, he made the above sports reference.

Yikes…many of us are in our fourth quarter!

Time to re-think our work ethic…and focus on our play ethic.

Stepping Stone 9: More attuned to magic moments.

With the extra non-distracted time, I was able to savor some of life’s little snapshots.

fist bump

There he was [and still is]: One of the weekday Mass ‘regulars’ greeting folks as they returned to their seat from Communion. In my case, we fist-bumped.

It’s camaraderie. It’s kinship. It’s good will. Voluntary on his part. Sought-out on my part.

Magic, I tell you.

During these years, seek out your own magic moments, and feel free to share yours in the comment section. Would love to hear them.

In fact, if I collect 50 ‘magic moments’, I’ll have no choice but to make a book of them. [Not trying to harvest email addresses, honest. Just would love to see what qualifies as ‘magic’ for readers.]

Note: I retired for twelve months and learned plenty. I’ll be posting my impressions and lessons–I’ll call them ‘stepping stones‘–as a friend, not an advisor, and certainly not as an expert. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Structuring novelty into the weekend…final results.

looking back on weekend list

A while back, I aimed for ‘new’ throughout a weekend.

Here are the results.

  1. Listen to new music. [More new music: I turned on a new Comcast/Music Choice Channel called Stage and Screen–music made famous in notable film scores, television, and the Broadway stage.]
  2. Start a new book. Still reading Astrophysics for …
  3. Walk/Hike at a new location. [We hit a trail in town that we hadn’t visited for at least two years. That qualifies as ‘new’ to me. Will still aim for a new one tomorrow, perhaps the Beazell Memorial Forest.]
  4. Cook a new dish. [Actually, did a variation on my chocolate chip cookies and stuffed them–one with almond butter and the other with…
  5. Make a new item at tomorrow’s Maker Faire at the university. [Yep, made a block print of two rabbits. Will be putting it up on Etsy for $1000, though there’s that little obstacle of actually creating an Etsy account…and setting up a store…, well you get the idea.]
  6. Buy a dish from one of the food trucks downtown. [Didn’t get there. And still haven’t! I’m a failure! I think I’ll go celebrate my failure with a trip to Saffron Kabob.] 
  7. Use a new app/computer program.
  8. Create web content with a new app.
  9. Use a new setting on one of my cameras. [I used three different settings. Photos and setting labels to be added.]
  10. Add one or two new exercises to my resistance workout. [Yep. Went to YouTube for some great demo’s.]
  11. Plant the new tomato starts I bought this week. [I bought sweet pepper starts and shelling pea starts today for $1.12 apiece. Couldn’t go wrong. Planting will happen tomorrow.]
  12. Add a new chapter to my middle grade book. [Not quite. Did do some outlining, however.]
  13. Create two more new blog posts this weekend. [Added some on two other blogs.]



Still happy with my realization that I can have the best of both worlds–working Monday through Friday and retired on the weekends.


Please add comments about your own search for daily enrichment, no matter how small. If it resonates with you, then it counts as important and interesting.

Stepping Stone 8: Retirement can be a state of mind.


I’m sure this realization is nothing new, but since I’m fairly new to the retirement game, it’s new to me.

With this light bulb moment in mind, I’ve decided that each weekend can be a mini-retirement.

I’ll still be answerable to loved ones and will aim to be productive, but if I’m hit with a wave of ‘ehhhh, that can wait’, I’ll concede quite willingly.

And, if faced with an opportunity for a new adventure, I’ll follow my ‘Awww, you’re only retired once.’ mantra over the annoying ‘But you’re working again!’ voices.**

**lots of voices, I know. A little disturbing, isn’t it?


Note: I retired for twelve months and learned plenty. I’ll be posting my impressions and lessons–I’ll call them ‘stepping stones‘–as a friend, not an advisor, and certainly not as an expert. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Six phases of retirement


I found this article very interesting and recently shared this within a Facebook group.

  • Which stage are you in?
  • Are you straddling more than one?
  • Which stage do you want to be in?

Yep, I’m full of questions today, but with few answers. More on that later.

I can say that I am at the stage where I realize I probably have already used the image above, but am shrugging and going with it. [This is a nod to the emerging philosophy of “perfect is the enemy of ‘done’.”]