I really enjoyed reading the in-depth survey recently published by Age Wave/Merrill Lynch where they talk about the 4 phases of retirement. Having just passed my 2-year into retirement mark, I have definitely lived the “2-year retirement transition” phase they called Liberation and Self-Discovery. I do believe I am entering the next (quite long) phase of Greater Freedom and New Choices.
The issue I’m feeling right now, however, is the tension between enjoying the freedom and feeling the constraint of making regular commitments. So much tension that I am in fact avoiding new commitments because I love the feeling of freedom.
What am I not committing to right now?
- I am being pursued, in a nice way, by one of our local non-profits who mentor small businesses. But it requires a series of training and then commitment of specific amount of time per month.
- I have become a certified retirement coach, even created a business plan, but am hesitant to push out for clients.
- I know I want to be more physically active (it’s a big part of my vision), but I don’t commit to another Zumba class, a yoga class, or even walking my dog everyday!
- I am not committing to a number of other activities that fit my life vision: actively working on my book by finding an editor, learning to make jewelry (yet I continue to buy materials), listening to the courses I bought (both topics I am very interested in), scheduling swimming lessons (summer is over), actively putting my cooking lessons to use, scheduling a series of seminars with OLLI, and planning our next big travel adventure. All these items remain on my to-do list week after week.
Why am I not committing to so many things that obviously fit into my life vision?
- Is it a basic fear of returning to my workaholic tendencies? I promised myself and my husband that I would not return to those habits, and once I make a promise, I try very, very hard to abide by it – that is part of my values.
- Do I have a fear of failure? I know I have a tension between the joy of planning and frustration of doing! Too often the anticipation of the activity creates positive feelings, but also raises too high expectations. I worry about it (any activity) not going well.
- Is it lack of activation energy? Are some of these just so big of commitments I just need to break them down into more manageable steps?
- Do I just have too many activities and not being choice-ful enough? There is a great concept of analysis paralysis that says if you have too many choices, you do nothing.
This might feel a bit like I am beating myself up. I AM doing a lot of things on my new life vision plan. It’s just that I feel a bit lacking in not committing to more. Oh dear, does that sound like a workaholic tendency?!
How are you managing the constraint of regular commitments versus keeping a feeling of freedom in retirement?
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