ZEN TIP TUESDAY #25
Today Kathy Marris joins us for ZTT – welcome Kathy! I’ve known Kathy for a few years now. I’m not sure exactly how long it has been to be honest, but we met of course via our blogs. We have not yet met in person, but hopefully soon! Kathy runs a fabulous travel blog – ‘50 Shades of Age‘. Links to her blog and social media where you can learn more about her are all at the end of this post in her bio. Today Kathy tells us how much more Zen she is feeling in retirement, and why. Enjoy!
If you would like to contribute your very own ‘Gem of Zen’ as part of the Zen Tip Tuesday series please go here to find out how (you might also like to visit all the Gems of Zen we have so far). I would love to hear from you!
RETIREMENT & RELOCATION
My friend Min from Write of Middle has asked me to give my zen tips for her Zen Tip Tuesday feature. As a recent retiree, I’m certainly acquiring the skills to lead a more zen life. It’s work in progress but I think I’m slowly getting there!
I don’t think I’m alone in wishing for a quieter and more uncomplicated lifestyle since I’ve retired. Gone are the years of working and trying to get everything done to a strict timeline and gone are my years of being a mother to my two children. Although they still consult me and ask me to do things for them on a regular basis!
Earlier this year I relocated from the bustling Gold Coast in Queensland, across south of the border to the seaside village of Kingscliff. This lovely little town has automatically transformed me into a more zen person. The slow place of the town is calming and soothing. I’m simply loving my new life here.
Since retiring in May this year I’ve been busier than ever, but the difference is that now I don’t have to work to a timeline. Basically I can do as I please and slot in the things Iike medical appointments, family commitments, exercise, and my social life to suit me.
WISDOMS OF AGE
I think the wisdom of age brings a lot of things into perspective and I no longer stress about the small things. I don’t engage in negativity or choose to associate myself with negative people. I focus on what’s important in my life and that is my health, my family, my home, and a couple of good friends.
I’ve always been an over-thinker and read more into situations than is actually there. During the past I’ve spent a lot of sleepless nights worrying about things that people have said to me or in some cases not said to me! I’m continually finding new methods of dealing with my over-sensitivity, sometimes referred to as busy chattering “monkey mind”.
My zen tip for removing myself from “monkey mind” is positive self talk and taking myself off to the beach for a walk. During the walk I can always put things more into perspective and get a clearer head. Otherwise I may just put my feet up and escape from real life into a good book or watch something entertaining on Netflix.
A BALANCED LIFE
What helps me lead a more balanced life is learning to say the word “no” and trying not to over-commit myself. I now write every appointment and commitment into my calendar on my phone and I try to spread them out rather than put them all into the same week.
Exercise is also extremely important to me and I try to walk daily and throw in a reformer Pilates or Yoga class once a week. This really helps me feel balanced and grounded and hopefully will keep me fit and agile into my old age.
My husband and I enjoy taking lots of holidays either overseas or just taking a few days going some place in our caravan. Short trips away are always very therapeutical and I like nothing more than seeing new destinations within our beautiful country, Australia. It’s a complete getaway from routine and an opportunity to remove yourself from everyday life and immerse yourself into nature which is always great for my wellbeing. I feel so rejuvenated after a short trip away.
I’ve discovered the benefits of solitude over the past five years or so and have learnt to love my own company. I no longer seek out friends to hang out with all the time and I’m comfortable to have coffee on my own or go to a movie. I do catch up with my friends on a regular basis but I’ve chosen to remove myself from some of the negative friends that were in my social group.
Since last year I have taken up a new sport, Lawn Bowls, and I’m enjoying the physical and mental challenge of this game. It has created a whole new group of bowling friends and has given me some goals to work towards. Recently I have been selected to play in a pennant bowls competition against other clubs in my region so that has been a new experience.
New challenges are food for your brain and keep your mind active, which research has shown is integral for good health in your old age. I’m always up for a challenge (within reason), and just because I’m getting older doesn’t mean I’m giving up on learning and acquiring new skills.
ZEN TIPS SUMMARY
To sum it up my zen tips are:
- Take time out to indulge yourself now and again.
- Learn strategies to cope with stress and “monkey brain”.
- Exercise within your limitations. Don’t overdo it!
- Keep learning and updating your skills.
- Take short trips away to remove yourself from the everyday.
- Don’t be afraid to embrace some solitude.
- Take on new challenges!
Kathy Marris is a 61 year old who has been blogging at for the past 4 years. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast in Northern New South Wales. She enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, movies, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy’s real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
Kathy commenced the blog as a platform to encourage and inspire women of her age. After reaching that milestone age of 50, with kids leaving the nest and feeling unemployable, Kathy felt a big void in her life. It was with this in mind that she decided to start up 50 Shades Of Age – a website where she could reach out to her sisters and tell them that their lives could be so much more. Kathy’s desire is to be the voice for the new-age 50 something year olds to empower and motivate them to travel and see the world!