Category Archives: Motivation

Did I Do Meaningful Work This Week?

Do Meaningful Work - whatever that means for YOU!
Do Meaningful Work – whatever that means for YOU! (Photo credit to Pixabay)

I always say my “mission” these days is to do meaningful work in retirement.  I don’t necessarily mean paid work – in fact I haven’t chosen to work for pay since my Encore Fellowship ended about 10 months ago.

I figure writing this down and making it public will help to keep me accountable, and also appreciate when I have actually accomplished more than it might feel like I have.

Do Meaningful Work
To me this simply means, spending time and energy on things that contribute to my personal priorities.

  1. helping family members who are getting less independent
  2. working out regularly,  and hiking with friends
  3. managing our financial decisions
  4. engaging in local climate & sustainability projects
  5. blogging and tweeting about books/finance/sustainability
  6. maintaining & building relationships
  7. working on little projects for my family members

So let’s see – How did I do this week?

Continue reading Did I Do Meaningful Work This Week?


Woo-hoo! I earned my first blog dollar today

A FUN day for Sustainable Themes!
A FUN day for Sustainable Themes! (Photo credit to Pixabay)

For a novice blogger, it’s a big day! 

I had my very first earnings today through my Amazon Affiliate link, and it’s oddly exhilarating! 🙂

Those of you with established blogs will laugh, I’m sure, at my first $2.34….. but maybe you remember the feeling?

Money wasn’t the reason for blogging, and I’m still discovering what I want to write about that will add value, but this is a FUN moment I thought I’d share.

It’s so nice to know someone was here ~THANKS ~ you’ve energized me!! And thank you to all the #PF #EarlyRetirement #FI bloggers out there who have already taught me so much!

Ms. Susty Themes

Do you remember this moment in your blogging life? 


There is a common theme


Welcome to Sustainable Themes!

Lately, it has become clear to me that there are some common themes running through my life ~ a common thread related to ‘sustainability’.  Maybe it’s true for you too.

I like to keep up with the news and progress related to renewable energy and other ways we could be taking better care of things environmentally.

I also realize that my interest in financial independence and planning is essentially another angle on the same topic, focused on personal sustainability.  It’s about identifying priorities, and then making life choices that align with that plan.  I think of this as building a ‘resilient’ financial life that offers a form of freedom and balance.

And I value the benefits of a healthy life of physical activity, as well as a community of friends and family that form the foundation of a happy and healthy life.

As a part of nearly every day, I’m seeking and gathering information on these topics.

So, I’ve started this site to share some of what I’m learning, and hopefully inspire more people toward what I call “common sense sustainability”.  I hope it offers some ‘food for thought’ for others on a similar path.


“Work Less, Live More” was inspiration to FIRE

Clarity of Mind...
Clarity of Mind…

I didn’t really plan to “retire” before 55.
Here’s how I came to realize it was possible!

In my early 40’s, as many people do, I got restless about my career. I felt the need for more “meaningful work”. I was excited to find a graduate program that spoke to me, and I made the decision to work full-time and work on my Sustainable Management degree part-time…good start to my transition!

In the midst of this crazy time, on a vacation in the mountains, I found myself drawn to a book called Work Less, Live More: The Way to Semi-Retirement. I read it cover-to-cover a couple times on that trip, and my mental wheels started turning (aided greatly by the clarity of mind that hits me when I’m surrounded by the natural beauty of an alpine lake and snow-capped mountains).

Five years later, I had an education in a new field that was meaningful to me, and 2 years after that I took what felt like a big leap of faith and left my high-tech corporate career.

Continue reading “Work Less, Live More” was inspiration to FIRE