Retirement is wonderful. Despite what I see as competing demands on my time necessitating constant scheduling, the past six months have been refreshing.
Everything I am doing is what I think I want to be doing yet the trick remains parceling out 24 hours in a day to incorporate spouse, grandkids, kids, friends, employers that want my assistance, my own interests and the strong urge to sit and do nothing. I find it too easy to over promise and under energize.
This transition requires some thought and planning to avoid muddled messes of all the above. How to sort through this? The books I read, and there are some great ones out there, all tell me this is the time of life for self discovery and self engagement. It is a time as thrilling and exciting as when I turned 18, or when I became a mom. Now, with the wisdom of experience, and fewer responsibilities, I am ready to take up the challenge and opportunity to become who I really am.
This is an exciting new era for me and my goal is to make the best of this time of life.
“Aging is an extraordinary process where you become the person you always should have been.” David Bowie
Invitation to Retirement
by Ann Marie
One day I was driving to work in the rain. Tired at the start of the day, hands and hips sore with arthritis, and I saw a new home for sale. I realized in an instant that could no longer be mine. I am through with the acquiring phase of my life. Done accumulating. But that left me with the question, “what do I dream about now?”
Retirement for me means taking time to find what I really want to do with the rest of my life. Although my actual retirement was spurred along by a funding cut, I was at the place where, despite having meaningful employment, my life wasn’t satisfying me any more. In fact, it was stressing me out. I knew a change was imminent and welcomed the opportunity when it presented.
Four months into my new reality I am thrilled to be out of the day to day busyness that employment presented and am now left with a vague anxiety about what I “should” be doing. This is my work for the next little while, figuring out how to embrace retirement in a way that offers me meaning and purpose.
This is also one of the themes through Conscious Aging, learning what my soul is saying to me and letting go of things that get in the way.