Blogging to the Beat of a Different Drummer

I must admit that I really like blogging. But I also must admit that I don’t like conformity.


My goal of blogging is to:

1. Hone my writing skills and clarify my thoughts.

2. Be a part of a wonderful community of like minded bloggers. As many people know, it can be hard to find a similar community of individuals in person, so blogging has become a great platform to share ideas.


Since I eschew conformity, I don’t worry much about…

… a posting schedule.

… SEO or search ranking.

… my stats.

… spending hours on the computer every day to “keep up”.

… following a consistent writing format or style.


Since I embrace community, I do enjoy…

… reading and responding to every comment.

… getting new followers.

… commenting on other blogs and reading comments.

… links and posts to finding other bloggers.

… guest posting and collaborative work among bloggers.

… stepping away from the computer for sun, fresh air, exercise and real life interaction.


So, I was thrilled when within a week, I got three nominations from other bloggers for blogging ‘awards’. Two for the sunshine award and one for the Liebster award. What a great community!

Instead of writing three different posts, I decided to combine this into one blog post. I hope you all don’t mind that I didn’t quite conform to all the rules of the ‘awards’. 🙂

The Sunshine Award came from:

The Barefoot Minimalist: This is a wonderful blog about minimalism. Kay and I share similar thoughts and lifestyles on the subject, but even if you aren’t a minimalist, Kay is very bubbly, funny and positive and you just never know what she will write about next. It really keeps you looking forward to each new post!


Our Next Life: This is a great blog about simple living and early retirement. I followed a very similar path as this couple with my corporate life and financial independence at the age of 39. They also talk about some of the negatives of early retirement from the corporate life, which is can be a real issue for many people. They are also non-budgeters, but extremely financial savvy and ‘go green’ in every aspect!

The Liebster Award came from Lisa at Try A Simple Life: I just found this blog from her nomination, but her mantra is “A Simple, Low Stress Life”. Who doesn’t want that?!?!?! I’m already a fan of her blog!


So, check out the above blogs and here a few more that deserve some awards:


Below are my new questions for these bloggers. I’d love to hear answers from commenters as well and links to new blogs!

What does your ideal day look like?

How do you find instant gratification that doesn’t cost anything?

If you knew a disaster was coming and you have 10 minutes to evacuate your house, what would you take?


My answers…

Questions from The Barefoot Minimalist:

#1 Be honest. What is the highest number of Oreos (or a similar type cookie if you don’t like Oreos) you’ve ever eaten in one sitting?

I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but I can easily go through half a bag of potato chips, which is why they are banned from our “shopping list”. 🙂

#2 How old were you when you had your first kiss and where were you at the time?

I was 13, and we were sitting in a stairway at a friend’s house. Not sure why!

#3 What did you want to be when you grew up and did you end up being it?

I wanted to be an astronaut or a test pilot. I ended up being an environmental engineer and sustainability consultant instead, which is much more aligned with my lifestyle anyway. I did end up getting my private pilot’s license though!

#4 What was your favorite toy when you were a kid?

I don’t remember if I had a favorite toy, but I do remember being outside a lot… climbing trees, getting dirty and getting hurt. It was the greatest! I guess that is why I still don’t have many toys and prefer the outdoors!

#5 How old were you when you had the most fun you can remember?

I have two: My first airplane solo when I was in my late 20’s. There was such a freeing feeling when my instructor left the plane and I took off all by myself. My second was a recent solo backpacking trip to Australia at age 40. I highly recommend a solo trip to all women… very empowering!

Questions from Our Next Life:

In what ways are you most like and most unlike your childhood self?

I am like my childhood self in that I love freedom and playful endeavors. I am unlike my childhood self in the sense that I know my limits when it comes to physical risks. 🙂

What’s your all-time favorite book, and your favorite you’ve read in the last year or so? (bonus points if you do fiction and non-fiction. this is a shameless attempt by us to get more recommendations!)

This is a tough question as I read voraciously… not joking. I sometimes read up to 4 books in a week.

As far as non-fiction I like science based plots especially when they are about space or exploration, James Michener’s “Space” is a great one. I’m now reading “The Sparrow”, which is excellent. And “Contact” is another favorite.

For fiction, I would highly recommend checking out my resources page. I just don’t know if I can narrow it down! But, I generally like books that are about simple living, eco-friendly living and work-life balance.

What has life taught you about finances, and what have your finances taught you about life?

I learned that money definitely does not bring me happiness. Happiness comes in other forms for me. I also learned that freedom is more of a state of mind and something that we are in much greater control of than we think. Many people say ‘one day when I have xxx….’ I will be free. While some money is necessary, huge accumulations is not necessary for instant freedom. Simple living is necessary… at least for me.

What is something you’ve always wanted to do, but have never done for no good reason? (bonus points if you care to share what action you’ll take to do that thing!)

This is another tough question, because I typically do anything that interests me. I believe in living life now. That way if I get hit by a bus tomorrow, I won’t have any regrets. I have skydived, scuba dived, flown airplanes, rock climbed, traveled the world, got certified to sail, completed a marathon and triathlon, etc, etc, etc.

Two things though that I really, really want to do, but it will take some planning as there is fierce competition, is to get research/volunteer time at the Darwin Institute on Galapagos Island and at the Arecibo Telescope. Maybe this is the kick in the butt I need to get planning!

What scares you most about early retirement / financial independence / minimalism / self-sufficiency or whatever you’re striving for?

The biggest thing I struggle with now is trying to stay competent with my lifelong corporate skills, without having to work too many hours or be on someone else’s schedule.

What tv show is atop your must-see list right now? (or if you’re not into tv, what’s some under-the-radar thing that we should all be paying attention to?)

I don’t watch too many new shows, but rather mostly sitcom reruns that make me laugh hard. However, I suggest everyone watch “I AM”. It is a life changing documentary. I own the DVD and watch it over and over. It is that good. It is also on YouTube, Netflix and at the library.

Questions from Lisa at Try a Simple Life:

1. Why did you start blogging?

To clarify my thoughts and join a community of great thinkers!

2. List one blog that inspires you.

My new favorite is She is smart and witty and while she isn’t a self proclaimed, ‘minimalist’, but rather a biomechanist, she has the science to back up my minimalist lifestyle. 🙂

3. How has blogging influenced your life recently?

It has given me a creative outlet in my new life since I have climbed down the corporate ladder.

4. What hobbies do you enjoy doing?

I love walking and hiking. I’m reading up on urban foraging as this really fascinates me. A future post is on the way about this!

5. Do you enjoy traveling or nesting?

I’m hands down nomadic!

6. Describe your favorite place to be.

For everyday: a bookstore/coffee shop combo or getting sun and exercise at the park.

For the once in awhile adventure: anywhere with wildlife interaction or science.

7. Tell us one goal you have.

To get a research/volunteer position at either Galapagos or the Arecibo Telescope. I guess that’s two.

8. Would you rather read a book or watch a movie?

Read mostly, but I do like good independent films and documentaries. I like to watch the movie first, then read the book because the book is always more detailed.

9. Would you rather vacation at the beach or in the mountains?

In my younger years, I was mountains all the way, but it took a lot of gear. Now I like living simply, so beaches where I can dress minimally and go barefoot is very appealing.

10. What is one frustration you are trying to solve?

Trying to find part time work in my old profession. After being away from the corporate life for 2 years, I have a bit of an itch. Since I don’t need the money, I would LOVE only 5-10 hours per week, completely on my own schedule, but I know most companies want much, much more than that!

11. What is one activity you like to do with your family/friends?

BBQing at someone’s house. I like being outside and I would rather hang out with friends and family outside at someone’s house rather than at a restaurant where it is hard to talk to everyone and it ends too soon.


16 thoughts on “Blogging to the Beat of a Different Drummer

  1. Thank you for answering my questions – I enjoyed reading them! I also started blogging (again) to improve my writing skills and share with others. You have listed some new blogs for me so I am going to check them out as well 🙂


  2. Enjoyed reading your answers! I admire that you tend to go for things instead of just dreaming about them, and I hope you are able to get spots on the Galapagos and at Arecibo! And thanks for the book and movie recommendations. 🙂


  3. Wow, the research/volunteer goals you have are awesome! I say you get into gear on them (because I’d love to read about your experiences there!!!). Also, thanks so much for the shout-out, and congrats on your awards! Well deserved!


  4. Blogging for the sake of blogging. I guess the way it was always meant to be. Why worry about schedules or SEO. Write what’s on your mind and in your heart, teach and be honest and your blog will flourish.


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