Travel & Activities

I’m Comfortable In My Own Groove

A lot of women, when they reach our age, resolve that it’s time to turn their  lives around.  They’re going to seize the day! Live with gusto! Strive to fill every waking moment with something new and exciting.

Not me. I don’t want to live life to the fullest each day. I’d rather stay home and read.

In my youth, I did some world traveling and had, for a middle-class Jewish girl, a certain number of adventures. Nothing extraordinary, lavish or — God forbid — self-destructive. I lived in London and Paris. I visited Bali and Singapore. I had a couple of love affairs. I did a little coke. But I never got drunk and woke up in a stranger’s bed, danced on a table top or had a fling with a pop star.

(I did once spend an entirely platonic night with Leonard Cohen. But that’s another essay.)

By the time I hit my 30s, I’d gotten all of this out of my system. I got married, settled down, raised a kid, then got divorced. Now I work at my local public library. Mine is a quiet life.  But, for me, it never gets dull.

I know three women who, now that their kids have grown, have cut loose and are seeing the world in style. Travel writers, they crisscross the globe having a fabulous time (often on somebody else’s dime) and blog about it. Suzanne Fluhr chronicles her world travels on Boomeresque. Lois Alter Mark blogs about “transformative travel” on Midlife at the Oasis. And Scuba diver Tam Warner fishMinton shares exciting underwater adventures on Travels with Tam, accompanied by amazing fish photos.

These women really know how to live! Hobnobbing with lions and rhinos on a South African game preserve! Going to Australia with Oprah! Cage diving with Great White Sharks!

I’m one of the thousands of armchair travelers who enjoy their blogs. And there’s always something fabulous to read. Right now? Suzanne is relaxing in Hawaii. Lois and her husband are savoring fine cuisine in Aix-en-Provence. And Tam is under the waves in Cozumel, photographing cool fish.

But would I want to live like my three favorite travel writers?

Not a chance. I prefer my quiet, humdrum life. My days aren’t exceptional. They’re entirely ordinary.  I read. I write. I swim. I walk the dog. I share coffee with friends.

Dealing with obstreperous library patrons at the library where I work is as much adventure as I want.

I’m lucky enough to have a wonderful man in my life who also loves nothing better than to sit in front of the fire reading. Or visiting a bookstore. Or taking a stroll around my pleasant suburban neighborhood enjoying a chat and cracking each other up.

Friends often accuse me of being in a rut. “The whole world is out there!” they’ll say. “Get out and live a little.”

“It’s not a rut,” I correct them. “It’s a groove. And I love it.”

I think it’s great that so many of my peers in their 50s and 60s, are enjoying such exciting lives.  “I can sleep when I’m dead,“ they proclaim. “In the meantime, I’m going to grab everything life has to offer.”

“You go, girl!“ I tell them. “See the world! Have amazing adventures! I look forward to sitting on my tushie in my easy chair and reading all about it.”

As for me? At 61, I’m old enough to recognize that a simple Ordinary Day can be bliss.

Roz Warren

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31 Comments

  • Avatar

    ellensue jacobson

    Yes! I am finding that I love being home, creating recipes and essays for my site, http://www.menupause.info, and reading, reading, reading,something I started late in my life because I hated lists given by teachers of books I didn’t want to read.
    I do travel to see my kids on the west coast and occasionally down to FL for a few days with my hubby. But I agree! My life has been hectic enough not to add long distance travels to see the world. Like Dorothy said in the Wizard of Oz: “There’s no place like home! There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home!”

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    Janice Wald

    Hi Roz,
    I agree with your attitude about seizing the day. I’ve become more of a home body since I started blogging. I get to stay home with my husband and dogs– right where I am the happiest.
    Janice

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    Doreen McGettigan

    I’m with you Roz! I LOVE all of those travel blogs and the women that write them are amazing but my favorite place is a comfy spot to read or write. I do enjoy visiting with and spending time with my grandkids and the occasional getaway. I grew up an airline brat with parents in the travel business. We travelled all the time. It isn’t that exciting for me anymore.
    I thought I was the only one…

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    Leanne

    I couldn’t agree more Roz, I think I have a bit of travel left in me somewhere, but for now I am happy in my safe, warm, snug home doing a job I like, living with a husband I like and doing what I like. There is a lot to be said for a living a calm life 🙂

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    Cathy Lawdanski

    Roz – you are comfortable with YOUR life and YOUR preferences. At this side of 50, it is a blessing to get to choose the life WE want. YOU GO GIRL! Or not…

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    Linda Wolff

    I like sitting on my tush and reading too, especially if it’s near a pool or beach. (Ideally, Maui!) But, my groove is pretty wonderful too. Always happy to come home after traveling and be in my cozy nest.

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    Rebecca Forstadt Olkowski

    I’m more the type who loves to travel at the drop of a hat, but it’s wonderful that you’re happy doing what you love. It’s not a one size fit’s all kind of thing.

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    hillsmom

    I guess I’m pretty much with you Roz. I have seized the day, and that’s that! I’m happy reading and especially watching birds. Right now the Bluebirds are in and out of the nest box on the front lawn. He’s taking food to her, and perhaps feeding hatchlings. Remember, you can never see enough Bluebirds. The other thrushes continue with their ethereal morning and evening concerts. Actually, when I think about it, I’d just as soon be here in April and May as any other place I can think of. Well, unfortunately, this Spring has been a bit of a bust with the crazy weather. But, I’m still here. I’ve decided not to hike to the Everest Base Camp, and I’ll never finish the short bit of the A.T. sigh.

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    Lois Alter Mark

    Thank you so much for including me here, Roz! I’m honored to be one of your favorite travel writers and will continue to see the world just for you! You may be surprised to know that there is nothing I love more than spending a day in a lounge chair reading — I just prefer it to be on a cruise ship! 🙂

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    Tam Warner Minton

    Thank you for following my adventures at http://www.travelswithtam.com, above and below the waves! I’m off to Australia, Bali, and Komodo in two weeks! I’ve loved to travel since I was a little kid…and the ocean is my bliss. When my kids were home, we took them with us to adventure, but now, due to hubby’s health, I am solo quite a bit. But the world is a big beautiful place, and I am at home wherever I am. Safari, diving, museuming, gliding, I love it all. Groovin’ in our grooves, long may we continue!

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    Rena McDaniel

    Oh, I agree with this on so many levels. I do crave adventure once in a while, but a vacation can alleviate that without going crazy. I prefer to be home or in a library or bookstore. I love the blogs you mentioned although it’s been a while since I’ve caught up with them. I prefer to read about adventure without actually living it and face it right now my life is anchored. Taking care of my mom everyday pretty much limits my ability to let go and go footloose and fancy free. The chains that bind me are just to heavy right now.

  • Avatar

    Joyce Eisenberg

    I still love to travel and I love the process of researching and figuring out where to go even more. It makes me happy that you like to read about other people’s travels. I’ll keep posting, and try not to be annoying!

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    Melissa schnapp

    Roz- I love this! It makes me think about my own life. I am a real combo kind of person. Sometimes I love traveling and seeing new places, people and things, and other times, I am thrilled to listen to the birds, write and sit on my tushie. I think that the important thing- as you so beautifully put it- is being “comfortable” wherever you are. I remember reading once, that stress is being one place and wishing you were another. Here’s to being comfortable!

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    Roxanne Jones

    I’m right there with you, Roz. I love your distinction between “rut” and “groove” — that says it all.

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    Stacia Friedman

    As a former travel writer who used to jump at every chance to Get Out of Dodge, I totally share your desire to avoid airports, cruise ships and exotic destinations. No place is as intriguing as my local library and no foreign market is as alluring as Trader Joe’s!

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    Kelly

    I’m the opposite! Traveling is the most freeing feeling in the world for me. But that’s the great thing about being your own person- everyone can just do what makes them happy!

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    Rena McDaniel

    I am right there with you, perfectly happy with my life. I haven’t reached the seize the day part of my life just yet.

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    Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com

    Hi Roz! Good for you for recognizing what it is that brings you quiet fulfillment. We are all different so we should have the freedom to do that however we want. I read a long time ago that a good way to remember that is to just say to yourself, “That’s why there are different flavors of ice cream!” Think how boring it would be if we were all alike! ~Kathy

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    Michelle

    I’m with you Roz! “Ordinary day can be bliss…” Exactly. We often forget that an ordinary day is what many long for in the midst of their chaotic, busy lives. How often we hear many say, “I just need a day to do nothing.” When the day comes, I call it blissful too.

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    Carol Graham

    I started a new career at 67. Having a day to myself is not possible and I like it that way. The busier I am the happier I am.

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    Carla

    Oh your last sentence resonates with me so much. I’ve CLAWED my way here at 47 and I plan to never let the feeling go.

  • Avatar

    Carol Cassara

    There is beauty in every way of life. I love armchair travel, too, although we do travel a lot. Some adventures are beyond what I want to experience firsthand. Books, give me books, too!

  • Avatar

    Cathy Chester

    The bottom line is we each have to know ourselves well enough to know what makes us happy. Sometimes that’s easier said than done but after all there is no rewind button so we better decide NOW what that is!

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    Joy

    Great article and writing! I, too, am comfortable in my own groove. No doubt boring to many, but it works for me!.

    • Avatar

      Roz Warren

      Actually I shouted out that I’m glad that you’re you, so that I can be me and read about you.

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