A friend asked about how to approach retirement. Somehow I think that question is deeper than handing in the required paperwork and setting up a direct deposit account. I think that question is about spiritually preparing for suddenly encountering a new phase in one’s life. Lets face it. No matter how many dreams you have and how wise your investments have been… No matter how much you love your kids and grandkids; you are being told by the world that once considered you a professional worthy of a paycheck that noone will miss you too much if you put out to pasture. In fact, here is a severance package to ease the way. Its a shock. You don’t feel old. Yet there it is.
So lets break it up into pieces.
What are you retiring from? Not your family or friends. Not your address (at least, not yet). Not your likes and dislikes. Not your clothes. Not those 10 extra pounds (if, only). That all stays the same. All of that is most of who you are. So, aside from the money thing which I am really not qualified to discuss, its primarily just two things. A place to go to on a regular basis that is not home and a fixed role in society. Just two things. Staying engaged and stimulated. Staying alert and active. How ever you want to slice it, its just two pieces.
A place to go might be a volunteer gig or a pt job. It might be tutoring. It might be something completely different. Depends how far you want to go to the gig? They have Peace Corps for that.
Me? I’ve always wanted to volunteer on an archaelogical dig. That is in my future. Writing about it on this blog is my present. The me that is not defined by a social role. The me who is not up for sentencing in the court of perfection. You are going to be gone a long long time. Now is the time to make every minute count. What are you afraid of? What is the worse that could happen? What is the best? Visualize. What can you do to overcome your discomfort? There really is no more time for that. Its ok to feel good. Could it really be that good! Do it. Don’t think about it.
A long time ago someone told me to follow my fears and there I would find myself. I understand that now.
Now is now.