As a recovering workaholic, I still feel guilty if I spend the afternoon doing the crossword, taking a nap, reading a book, writing a blog, or goodness, just sitting and enjoying the sunshine. Part of me feels like if I’m not working (meaning working for financial compensation), then I should be pursuing life meaning. Certainly not just wasting time.
But what is wasted time and what is pursuing life meaning? I recently read a description that life meaning can come in many ways:
- Having people in your life that truly love and care for you.
- Adding value and contributing to something worthwhile.
- Connecting to something that takes you outside yourself.
- Communicating a personal narrative.
My blogging helps me express my life narrative. I share my experiences in the hopes of connecting to others – sharing, mentoring, validating. I also hope in some small way my blogging is adding value to someone else! Using this description, my blogging (reading and writing) contributes to my pursuit of life meaning, and is not wasting time.
But is there more to understanding the pursuit of life meaning to help me relieve the guilt, because there is the more (or actually less) to this lazy afternoon than just blog writing.
Is pursuit of life meaning simply meaningful pursuits?
What meaningful to me (or you) could be one big thing or many smaller things. It could be continuing to work part-time doing gig consulting. Or, it could be traveling, exploring, or having new experiences. Or being active and healthy, or connected to others, or financially secure. Or learning how to spend quiet time and just be quiet for an afternoon. Or a blend of many of these into the unique retirement lifestyle I’ve dreamed about!
I often joke that I was raised on guilt. I am coming to believe retirement is a time for a learning curve to free myself of living on guilt. How can I learn to be OK with days of no pre-planned, structured activity? How can I eliminate my comparative inferiority struggle and feeling no self-worth if I’m not working (when so many friends and cohorts are working)? How can I find the joy in a lazy afternoon?
I am learning to love this new lifestyle of slower days, time to have coffee and listen to the morning bird chatter, fitting in a regular yoga class, and taking a mid-day walk with a friend. I need to continually remind myself to not feel guilty and to appreciate even the lazy “time wasting moments” are part of my meaningful pursuits for my 21st century retirement lifestyle.
Do you feel guilty? Have you conquered your guilt? Or are you one of the lucky ones who never had the guilt trip about wasting time?
Picture Credit: Pixabay