I live in a house nestled in suburbia. I have no children, my parents have passed, my marriage of three years is ending in divorce, I go rucking and lift weights, I eat like my ancestors, my income is fixed, and I want to succeed at retirement. No matter how the accounting of finances determine where and how I live, my objective is to thrive on life, to live life, not watch it pass me while I sit on the sofa. My confidence in the discipline I impose upon my life will illuminate the path to freedom, whether it lies in the lifestyle of a nomad, creating the momentum required to remain where I am, or downsizing and relocating my life. The objective: thrive.

Surviving is an example of maintaining one’s existence, being herded down a path by the dictates of circumstance. I want to avoid that scenario, and because I believe in myself and discipline my approach to life, I will succeed at thriving in retirement. I have options to explore.

The context for thriving differs from person to person, subject to the energy and creativity one invests into achieving the objective. I plan to thrive no matter what, where, how my circumstances play out. I am the pilot of my destiny, and it’s my responsibility to arrive at a destination where I generate the momentum to succeed. In context, what does it look like for me to thrive? The basics for me thriving at life lie in addition to having a home and saving money, they include passions, activities that enrich the soul, give meaning to life, providing purpose, a reason to roll out of bed and face the day with gusto. In February, I made a list of activities that peg my thrive-odometer.

  • Locating new areas in which to ruck. Perhaps, rucking down to the local light rail depot and take a ride to downtown Portland, ruck down to the waterfront, hangout, have lunch, and return home.
  • Carving wood, chiseling stone, welding metal sculptures, and presenting them as gifts to friends or selling them at local craft events.
  • Invoke my heritage by making a Japanese garden.
  • Invent, create, make, and build something that capitalizes on my IT background and interest in electronics.
  • Create intellectual challenges that stimulate the process of connecting knowledge with experiences.
  • Join the local senior center.
  • Join the Portland Maker community.
  • Take a photography class.
  • Learn Spanish.
  • Volunteer at a nature preserve.
  • Visit libraries and historical societies.
  • Take road trips and discover Oregon.

The variety of activities on my list of things to do will invigorate my life, but writing remains the love of my life, the singularity in my existence where a portal opens into realms for me to discover and engage. I thrive on writing and discovery; they pair to guide me through a journey to the end of my time.