As much as we can try to understand the many personal reactions to retirement it is difficult to fully anticipate some of the changes that will be encountered until these changes occur. The first six weeks of retirement have brought a child-like giddiness and excitement as I have savoured the freedom from a rigid work schedule of appointments and other commitments.
As the days pass this phase appears to be coming to closure and a new rhythm of life is evolving. As I thought about this new phase I began approaching it by using past practices with goal setting. Although used successfully for many years, a goal-setting approach was not going to work to achieve a more creative and generative lifestyle congruent with current aspirations.
Retirement has changed my world and my life. Priorities are shifting. Many responsibilities are gone leaving time to focus on nutrition, fitness, writing, and re-organizing my home. ‘Me’ time has arrived along with the challenge of using the ‘me’ time to fulfill those dreams that were set aside during the busy years of career-building.
Previously established directions and routines need re-evaluation based on shifts in responsibilities. Achieving happiness and enjoying life are now key.
The challenge of this phase is to find direction when there is no definitive roadmap. Retirement has no traffic lights, no yield signs and no STOP signs.
Creating a personal roadmap is the first step and this step is going to take some time. It will require a review of personal values and priorities. The pre-retirement considerations and planning will form a foundation but may need adjustments to incorporate new realities. A new perspective is emerging as the adaptations to retirement are occurring.
The new directions that evolve with this phase of retirement may set the course for many years to come. Given that the hours spent at the office are now available for new endeavours, maintaining a personal schedule, establishing some routines and setting priorities for using time will form part of the roadmap. The roadmap needs to be flexible and fluid –no targets or timelines for postworksavvy.
Retirement is a major transitional event in life and should be treated as a time to re-evaluate. It is a time to create a roadmap that ditches detailed goals and future plans filled with targets and timelines. The roadmap allows for new directions while affirming personal values, subconscious intentions and needs. The roadmap encourages careful listening to the deeper aspirations of the heart. This may sound naive and the results may look aimless; however, it is likely that such an unconventional approach will lead to a new understanding of how to live without the professional and career requirements that previously influenced my days.
As new directions evolve, the challenge of understanding and accepting a labile approach to life will emerge. Hopefully the roadmap will keep me engaged with life, enthusiastic about opportunities to realize dreams, and living life to its fullest every day.
Many others have made the transition and realized that new directions will build on past successes in dealing with personal growth and lifestyle changes. Avoiding rigid expectations and requirements will allow emergence of new horizons unbounded by previous comfort zones.
Follow this blog for postworksavvy learning about how to achieve new directions and a new roadmap for a changed life. Write to me about your own successes, experiences and ideas.