It is common in December to look back at what was achieved in the past year. At work, that is often in a year end-review. Of the life side, many of my friends send out a Christmas card year-end summary filled with their family’s (often kids!) life doings. I love getting those notes but have never felt able to craft one since my life was always so work-focused. It never seemed like I had enough to compare…who wants to hear about getting a project through the red-tape at MegaCorp!
This year was my first full year of retirement and therefore provides a unique look at “what was achieved”. And so you, my blog readers, are getting my year-end review! A little bit like work (yes, still thinking achievements!); a little bit like life (working on that more life/less work). And yes, I know – I’m retired, you would think I could have found time to do it before my Christmas cards went out, huh?!
Recall I wrote about three phases of retirement transition – Let it Go, Let it Be, Let it Begin. As I look back, I realize I have entered the 3rd stage of transition – Let it Begin. And that it took me 16 months to get into this third stage from my retirement date. (For any of you recent retirees, I have heard from many that this is not unusual.)
Looking back at the last 12 months, I accomplished more than I thought, as I never really felt busy! I was able to help my mom out in her post-surgical recovery, take a first-ever sisters & mom vacation, start up my LLC, take multiple classes (from writing to computers to life coaching), and spend multiple weeks at our beach cottage.
Since a large part of the year was in the Let it Be transition stage, I noted that I reflected deeply on my transition, read a lot of blogs & books (up to 28 books now!), worked through a personal innovation process (articulating values, strengths, and interests), and crafted a Life Vision & Action Plan.
I have started activating many elements of that Life Vision & Action Plan. I began writing a blog, started a mid-week foodie club, tried on antique dealing (not for me!), began morning journaling (loving it!), and committed to a weekly hike and weekly Zumba. For a never-before exerciser, this last one is a big deal! Hubby & I increased our theater-going and arts & craft festival attendance (part of our “we” activities). I was conscious in reaching out in relationships with both professional networking and friends connecting – with more coffee, breakfast, lunch and happy hours than I can count!
It was a year of cognitive restructuring. Realizing a day without a full schedule is OK and a full day of meetings is not a sign of success. That errands do not need to be held for the weekend and mid-week shopping I can be amazingly stress-free. And, less work & more play can create a very fulfilling week.
Things I’ve learned? It’s hard to drop the should, hard to become a beginner, hard to let go of the past (where you had an identity and clear measures of success), and hard to trust that doors will open as you go down a new path.
Looking ahead, besides continuing many of the plans started like the “out & about” focus (both fun with friends and time with hubby), I want to build in unleashing my creativity (jewelry making and more writing) and restarting taking adventures with some “big vacation” planning. I need to continue to watch the “work creep” with my LLC projects. Work is easy, and can quickly take over my days. Not really new-year resolutions, but definite new year plans!
Did you send out a “year-end report” to family & friends? Take some time as the year ends to think about the direction your life is heading? What did you conclude?
Picture Credit: Pixabay