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:
You can’t travel, volunteer or read too much.
You have time to improve your health and fitness.
Relationships get better without the stress of work.
New connections are made through hobbies and volunteerism.
You have time to think about what is important to you and make plans accordingly (Thank you Pat Doyle!)
You learn new things – painting, drawing, photography and selfies!
Did you ever have a shirt or dress that fell out of favor, ending up in the back of your closet? Months or years later you find it, pull it on and suddenly it looks differently on you? That’s how I felt about NYC before retiring. I associated trips to NYC with work and travel related stress. Plowing my way through crowds and drug sniffing dogs in La Guardia. Stepping out into the heat wearing a suit. A scary cab ride into downtown. People everywhere. I had many creative excuses for not going to work in NYC. However my beloved niece lives there and I decided to try on NYC again. Continue reading →
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 →
Early 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 →
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 →
Creative Pension Payment: Realizing the Capacity to be Creative
My Mother was an excellent artist. She was also a stunningly beautiful model, a gourmet cook/entertainer, and excelled at gardening and interior decorating. The perfect 70’s Mom. Her clients, art students and friends asked if I shared my Mother’s artistic abilities. Uh, hell no! A daughter’s perception of her Mother’s perfection.