It continues to surprise me how often hear people are “afraid to retire” because they still have the old mental vision of retirement – old age and restricted mobility, limited activities and isolationism, daily boredom.
When you consider that many of us will have 25-30 years of retirement, transition into a 21st Century Retirement is about defining a new lifestyle. It is not a permanent vacation leading towards decline and death, but rather learning a new, long-term lifestyle for the next stage of life… and for me that is one that is life-focused, not work-focused.
As a Type-A, goal-achieving workaholic, I never figured out the life half of “work-life balance”. So now in retirement, that is my focus – life.
While I often will exaggerate to say I went from all work-no play to all play-no work, neither is completely accurate. In-depth self-discovery allowed me to admit, I did have some limited life elements while I was working – from reading to theater-going to walking/hiking to dining with friends. And retirement is allowing me to expand on them; life-based things I loved while working continue to be part of my life in retirement. And I am still working, though it is very part-time as an innovation consultant. So, what has changed is the work/life ratio. In fact, I am “working” to move it from 90/10 to 10/90!
My 21st Century Retirement is having a well-curated life. Daily living is more than just how to fill the hours. It is how to fill the hours with elements that are important to me. It is recognizing that life is a combination of leisurely pursuits and daily mundane tasks, interspersed with big life-vision elements. I continue to use my Life Domains Model to review my weekly plans – with four domains being my current focal points:
- Health/ Wellbeing – What am I doing daily/weekly for Activity/Movement (walking, Zumba, yoga) and Practicing Positivity (journaling & emotional monitoring; practice gratitude; choose and do; regular hugs/touch)?
- Hobbies & Leisure – Are the balance of activities fitting my personal interests of: Playing with Words, Foodie Fun, and Releasing my Latent Adventurer & the Artist Within?
- Connections/Relationship – Do my Out & About plans (10 activities per month!) support my Time with Tim, Fun with Friends, and Camaraderie of Compatible Couples vision?
- Work/Career – Am I NOT overdoing here (work-alcoholic tendencies!) but do I have good amount of Career Continuation Networking conversations (10 meetings per quarter) and Compensated Consulting Gigs (5 projects per year)?
You can see my loving to play with words throughout my vision! I continue to refine my vision of my retirement, and it is definitely not restricted, limited, isolated or boring. I am living a 21st Century Retirement!