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October 15, 2014


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"Nothing bad will happen if I don't do it all." That is a great insight!

Steve Skinner

I also keep a "to do" list that would better be called a "when I get around to it" list.


Crossing off things I haven't done?? Brilliant! I feel like I've been given permission... and can run with it. Love your senses of humor, Sydney! Thanks!


It's taken a while, but I am finally with you on this. There are a few things I need to do each day to ensure my foundation stays solid - exercise, eat well, meditate - but otherwise I'm increasingly able to remain in my happy place with very little additional stimuli. Feels wonderful, I must say.

Diane C

I hesitate to call this your best post ever because there have been so many good ones. Instead I'll say it makes the Top Ten list, which, of course, reminds me of another famous retired person. Thanks for another gem, Syd.

To Tamara - This comment from you made me smile. You were always so busy! I miss your blog and hope you and Mike are thriving. I still make your Double Tomato Bruschetta recipe.

Retired Syd

Tamara: That is huge coming from you, the energizer bunny! (You have my permission to skip that workout and go enjoy your new granddaughter!)


I like the idea of letting ER happen at it's own pace too.

I'm one month into ER and yes, I have been cultivating a "to do" list in the years leading up to my last day of work. At first, I felt a bit stressed out (not comparable at all to work stress), thinking that I had to immediately start knocking things off the list. I have forced myself to take a deep breath and focus using my first month to decompress after 25 years in the meat grinder that was my career. I have plucked one of the "biggies" from my list and hit that one hard. GET FIT. I'm down 35 pounds from where I was one month prior to my ER date two months ago. At the point now where my day feels incomplete without a visit to the gym for a cardio session.

Almost time to move to #2 on the list. :) Though I'm in no hurry.

I am leaning towards tackling the things on the list that would be easier with a more youthful body first - West Coast Trail, kayaking (around?) Vancouver Island etc...

Retired Syd

sea kayaker: Wow, 35 pounds in two months--that's sure impressive! And I like that you just took one item from your to do list. So wise and yet you are a beginner at retirement! We should be learning from you!

Congratulations on your retirement, on your weight loss and fitness training, and good luck as you move onto #2 on your list.

Mona McGinnis

In my sister's-in-law words - there's always a list of things left undone. Prior to retirement, work was always an excuse for those undone things. Now there's no excuse! I've always been a big supporter of manageable to do lists. The other goal is not to get to the end of the list but just to move on to the next thing.


I love the idea of crossing things off my To Do list that I haven't done. I will first write "Worry about everything I haven't completed" then, I will cross it off!

I'm having too much fun in retirement to stress out about getting everything done.


This is great! I'm 30 days from retiring and feeling weird about it - scared and excited at the same time. So, I looked at your postings from Feb/March 2008 for solace. And this is too funny. Look at what you wrote on March 6, 2008:

"The problem, I'm finding with the "to do" list, is it really doesn't matter at all if it doesn't get done. The big important thing are getting done, like writing thank-you notes for all the thoughtful gifts and kind words that friends and colleagues have sent my way. But with so many things to do, and only a mere 16 waking-hours a day, there's just no way to get them all done in one day, so why not spread the list out over several days, or rather, several years. It is wonderful, really, this feeling of being totally unproductive. Surprising, but wonderful. I really do want to get to the zillions of things I want to get to, but it is quite a novelty to have no real reason to have to get to them just yet."

Other than to not worry about a to-do list, do you have any advice for someone 30-days from retirement? I've been so busy tying up loose ends and filling out forms that I can't believe how few days I have left. Kinda' nervous.

Retired Syd

aw: That's so funny--perhaps that is lesson number one--that you are constantly RE-learning things in retirement.

Congratulations on your upcoming retirement. Those last 30 days were my hardest, by the way. So close and yet so far. You're almost there!

Nancy Benton

Love it! Jerry Seinfeld said he created a "bucket list" and turned the b to an f and was done. :)

Retired Syd

Nancy--very clever!


Love it!


I just want to know if you still use audit query style strike through marks on your to-do list (2 parallel horizontal lines with a vertical line between). I still do that if it's a multiple line to-do entry. The audit firms... they indoctrinate you when you're young and impressionable. My this-was-a-dumb-idea-not-doing-it-probably-ever strikethrough is a wavy line.

Retired Syd

Jacq: Oh my gosh, I do!

Linda Vaughn

Whew! I saw the headline and was afraid you were bailing on your wonderful blog. Glad that is not the case!! Love your postings.


As I continue with item #1 on "the list", I am unsure what #2 will be. Learn Spanish? Write a blog? Cooking classes? Start planning our cabin build? Now that the rainy season has arrived in the PNW, my outdoor hobbies are more limited now, so that limits options a bit.

Heading down to the Baja for a month in November... maybe I can figure all this out while sitting poolside/beachside? :) One of my "to do's" is to learn how to do stand-up paddleboarding... so I can knock this off this list while down there perhaps.

ER doesn't suck. Seriously though, this one month of ER has easily been the happiest one month stretch of my adult life.

Retired Syd

Linda: The title of that one would have had a question mark at the end.

Sea Kayaker: Happiest month of your life--I'm so glad to hear that!


Glad you're back with some posts.
Care for a friendly wager on the World Series? Say the loser sends the winner a team cap? I'll take the Royals if you'll take your home town Giants .....
Best regards.

Retired Syd

Rick: You're on! Now just to be clear, do you send me a Royals cap when you lose or a Giants cap? Just want to be sure I understand the terms.


Syd: Winner's choice!

Lincoln Heng

What a life! If i retired soon, I would like to try this one. But for now, I would try to save as much as I can so I could spend someday!

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