My refined Retirement Lifestyle Vision Statement is a series of 4 words:
Active. Connected. Creative. Contemplative.
Early on 2019, I knew it was going to be my year of contemplation.
I had worked on building a more active lifestyle with yoga, zumba, regular walking in Cincinnati, adding in biking in Florida. Being active needs to be maintained (and yes, probably boosted), but there is a habit established. I immediately looked for a Zumba replacement when my teacher decided to stop her classes.
I had intentionally worked on building connections – both on-line with blogging and IRL. Here again, I have established a habit of reaching out and connecting and planning activities with friends. I no longer feel a need to be so intentional about it by tracking my 10 connections per month.
But creative and contemplative were both still more about my vision, not an established habit. I was leaning into learning to Be (versus always doing), and my 2019 vision board had a large area about spirituality. So this year I felt drawn to contemplate, to explore my personal spirituality, and to focus on personal growth.
This year’s focus on contemplation has certainly blossomed my deep thinking skill!
Besides reading a number of books on healthy aging and personal growth, I engaged in a number of inspirational meditation series with the Chopra Center (link here). I also continued my daily journaling, my weekly yoga practice, regular blog reading, and even went to a Yoga Wellness Retreat. I spent time exploring memoir, looking at old journals and photos. Fourteen of this year’s blog posts were a direct result of contemplation activities!
I do believe I am becoming more aware – living more in the moment with less regret about the past (if only thinking) or worry about the future (scenarios what if’s). I’m not perfect here, but I am better!
I have definitely learned to slow down and appreciate un-busy moments. I am still a planner and have embraced my enjoyment of trying new things, versus an expectation to “master” some “passion area”. This duality of doing and being might sound contradictory, but it has definitely settled into a life rhythm for me.
This focus on contemplation resulted in an acceleration of our life plan as I came to a stronger realization that we are not promised tomorrow. A 10-year plan has shifted to a two-year plan. And I do believe that I have a better knowledge of who I am without my career/work identity.
There are many areas of personal growth I am continuing to work on:
- Actively working to understand my limiting beliefs and unresolved resentments – move them into being released or resolved.
- Improve my practice of gratitude with a more focused gratitude journaling habit.
- Achieve a higher self-acceptance. This includes stopping the Compare & Despair, releasing my need for external validation, and stopping the perception of expectations even when they are not there.
- I still need to work on accepting my body, spending more time outdoors (awareness of my love of hiking from years ago), and blossoming my creativity.
This year of contemplation has set me up for a series of activities for growth in 2020. And hopefully, Contemplative will join Active and Connected as habitual. And then I’ll tackle Creative next!
Picture Credit: Canva