When you’re transitioning into retirement with only a limited plan of what comes next, often voiced fears include what will I do and will I be bored. The stereotypes for retirees and early retirees are no longer true, but are still firmly engrained: Retirees move south to golf everyday or spend time with the grandkids and do volunteer work. Early retirees are “merely” starting a second career. If none of those visions feels right, the transition into retirement without a plan can look very uncertain.
Work, if you’re a workaholic like I was, could have easily taken up more than 55-60 hours a week, between office-time, commuting and off-hour communications/ planning. It can be daunting to fill in all that time! A few folks I know “failed” at retirement (and went back to work) because they couldn’t find things that they enjoyed doing and gave them a fulfilling life.
For me, entering retirement without a solid set of activities/hobbies meant pushing beyond my comfort zone and trying things. It’s interesting that getting out of your comfort zone is a recent blogging trend (and one I’m joining in). Moving out of your comfort zone can be as simple as trying a new way of doing something you always do or trying something you’ve always wanted to try.
For me retirement transition has been about trying many new things: yoga, Zumba, running a foodie club, writing a blog, going to local conferences, learning to swim. It took time to figure out what I should continue to do (and what I should stop doing). I’m continuing to do this and have a “10 new things” goal for this Spring’s bucket list. Adding new things is becoming more challenging only because I’m keeping some of the new things around… they are no longer new!
There are so many areas for possibilities to explore: Travel, Play, Arts, Community, Connections, Healthy Living, Personal Growth. It’s about finding what interests you.
I’ve seen folks set some personal goals in areas of interest – visit # new countries/cities in a year (travel lover), see all Oscar nominated movies (movie lover), # days for beach walks/year (new Florida resident). I’m trying this one with my “5 new restaurants” this spring and new FitBit goals.
But to show you that the answer to what will I do is “anything you want” and there really is not much time to be bored, here is real look what my April (a month in early retirement) looked like (and the out-of-comfort-zone things noted with a * ):
- 3 philanthropic group meetings *
- Yard spring cleanup and new planting bed formation
- Re-started healthy cooking with Hello Fresh/Blue Apron meal deliveries
- 5 live theater shows, 1 “stay-cation” local tour, and 1 local charity event
- 12 out to eats: Couple Camaraderie dinners, Mid-week Foodie group dinner, and networking lunches
- Weekly Zumba and 1-2 weekly yoga classes; added new yoga class location *
- 5 Girlfriend Walk & Talks; 2 visits to the Zoo (annual Blooms event – waves of tulips!); and 2 walk-to-dinners
- 2 Massages; 2 dentist visits
- Spring cleaning – Paper purge, furniture shopping (will finally get rid of 2 old chairs at Goodwill next month!), and window washing
- New explorations: Finished a 21-day meditation podcast *; took class on glass-blowing; read about Tarot and Thai massage; practiced a New Moon ritual; re-explored archetypes
- Using new FitBit to track steps (target is 9000 a day, not yet there) and activities per week (target is 5, most weeks there!)
- Got taxes done and filed.
- Daily life – journaling, blog reading & writing, crossword puzzles, house cleaning, food shopping.
My month will look nothing like your month. It truly is about finding what interests you…and that could be days of golf, time with the grandkids, and starting a second career. You be You! Retirement gives you the time to figure that out!
Picture Credit: Pixabay