What I Wish I’d Known About Retirement – Your Invitation

I just celebrated two years of not getting up for work. I didn’t have solid plans for what I was going to do instead. My plans shifted like sands on a windy beach. I knew I would spend more time traveling and volunteering, but the rest of the time has been a lot of experimentation and a little bit of frustration. I’ve written quite a bit about my retirement revelations here on WordPress, so what’s knew? I didn’t realize, until recently, that I’m not as uniquely confused about retirement life as I thought. There are other women out there blogging about retirement transitions. Other women without kids and grandkids searching for their next in life. Other women dealing with the loss of their corporate identity.


In fact, the other day I was catching up on posts by author and fellow blogger Patricia West Doyle about her recent book Retirement Transition: An Innovation Approach. (Doyle’s blog is also called http://retirementtransition.blog and full of great nuggets. ) I wish there had been such a book when I started contemplating early retirement! In her blog she mentioned the project http://www.retirementvoices.com. Through Retirement Voices, authors Leslie Inman and Roxanne Jones are creating a book called Voices from the Other Side…of Retirement to guide soon-to-be-retiring women with lessons from women who’ve already retired. Inman and Jones are looking for input. Doyle had responded to their survey and shared the invitation. Now I’m doing the same. In responding to their thought provoking questions, I realized I wasn’t alone in this quest for non-financial related information about retirement. You too can assist! How has retirement affected your relationships, your physical health, your sense of identity? Add your insights by following the instructions at http://retirementvoices. Deadline is April 30, 2019.

Meanwhile, although I’m still searching for my “higher purpose meaning in life identify” I’ve learned a few great things about the retirement transition:

  1. You can’t travel, volunteer or read too much.
  2. You have time to improve your health and fitness.
  3. Relationships get better without the stress of work.
  4. New connections are made through hobbies and volunteerism.
  5. You have time to think about what is important to you and make plans accordingly (Thank you Pat Doyle!)
  6. You learn new things – painting, drawing, photography and selfies!

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Modernism Week – No Sitting On The Bed

Daylight Savings began this morning. I stayed up past my bedtime and woke up too early. Now I’m stupefied. Here is another good reason for procrastinating on my writing goals. Several interviews done and zero drafts completed this year. I must remind myself of how and why I  write.  There is no deadline and I’m not getting paid. This blog is about my crazy retirement adventures, not just promoting art. In honor of that philosophy and not getting enough sleep, take a look at these fantastic “keep you up all night” bedrooms from Modernism Week in the Palm Springs area last month. Continue reading

Grieving is Unfinished Work

IMG_5395 (1) Man and baby

Water color portrait by Jacqueline Stubbs

Sometimes I have to write something for myself – about my Mom. I’ve been thinking a lot about her lately. Not that I don’t think about her throughout each day, because I do. I’m talking about the thoughts and questions that bring me to tears. The kind of boiling tears that make you walk around the house carrying tissues and not daring to put on mascara or go out because you’ll look like hell and start crying all over again when anyone asks how your day is going. Continue reading

The Hole View – Retirement Pressures

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The guy who cuts my grass broke a window on May 17th. Two weeks later, I still don’t have a firm schedule for its repair – although I did finally get a price quoted. In my retirement transition, I’ve been focused on this hole and angry. It’s a symbol of everything that is broken and that I’ve been waiting to get fixed. Now that I am retired, that which used to be a nuisance, sometimes becomes an obsession. I retired from a  career in power where I worried about the scope of outages, when the next hurricane might come, and a myriad of daily decisions and administrative matters. Now, my decisions are like this: Continue reading

Finding Purpose After Retirement

iris fieldIMG_0987Early retirement has been like walking this zig-zagged iris garden boardwalk. Lots of fun travel over here. Golf and art lessons over there. Short term volunteer assignments along the way. Thoughts of marketing some of Mom’s artwork (she loved painting irises). Blogging a lot, then not. Walking around enjoying the beauty, like these travelers, but not jumping off into any particular field. I’ve written about my retirement identity crisis recently. However, I’m turning the corner into some things that are motivating me like I haven’t been for a while. Continue reading

Retirement – Identity Struggles and Feelings

flying high solo (2)

The above was from an article written in 2013 when the thought of early retirement didn’t exist. I was fully immersed in a career that I loved, working for a company and with people I respected, and really doing well….until my Father died shortly after it was published and I became the primary caregiver for my Mother. I spent the next four years immersed in elder care, my job and nothing else….until I started considering early retirement. There is lots of advice on the financial aspects of retirement and how to spend your time,  but not that much about one’s shifting identity and the emotions involved. I think of retirement planning in terms of three F’s:  Finances, Fun and Feelings (MOSTLY feelings.) Continue reading

Writing From The Heart

 

heart

Painting by Judy Mackey

Creative Pension Payment:  Being able to write about anything

I’ve always been a writer. When I was 12, I wrote a short story.  I even typed up the manuscript, but my Dad got transferred to Japan that summer and it was misplaced in the packing.  In middle school and high school I filled journals with poetry and teenaged revelations.  In college I wrote all the time (my BA is in Communications.) At work I wrote contracts, white papers and occasional articles for company publications. And then I went to graduate school…. It was exhausting after a while. Continue reading