A number of folks I know are in the process of starting their retirement transition. (The pandemic seems to have pushed a number of people to say, “That’s enough of full time working.”) And a few have commented that they are not sure what to engage in next. I understand that feeling as I myself retired with no retirement living plan at all! (Financial plan, yes. Living plan, no.)
What I’d like to focus on today is a review of “what stuck and what didn’t”, as I tried a number of new things in my retirement. And more importantly to point out – more things didn’t stick than did! My message being – don’t be afraid to try things out. Many things can be tried without long-term commitment. Explore your interests; try out things on your possibilities list. It’s perfectly fine if something does not click and stick!
Looking back over almost 8 years of retirement living now (where did the time fly to?), here’s a recap of some things that didn’t really stick. A few of the big ones:
– Figuring out where to live – we got it wrong at first. After downsizing up north and trying the snowbird approach for a couple of years, I realized that living in two places left me feeling ungrounded in both. So we made the Big Move to Florida. Yes, we bought two houses and sold three in less than 5 years. (But now, we are in one that I love.)
– Forming & maintaining an LLC was waste of time and money. This was something I did because so many people told me it what I “should do”. Learning to not listen to the “you should” comments is a work in progress!
– Certification as a retirement life coach. I enjoyed learning everything in the courses I took, but realized I’m not a very good coach! I applied things I learned primarily to myself, and talked about them in various ways in my blog and book. But, I’ve only coached a few folks (friends!) pro-bono.
– Consulting work. It went strong for about 2 years, and I enjoyed some of the projects. But post-cancer, I just couldn’t get back into the networking that consulting required. Also started to feel ‘out of the loop’ in expertise and not wanting to push for new learning in the area. It took a long time to give up this element of my identity and I still feel a twinge of Compare & Despair when others talk about their consulting projects.
Other hobby exploration things didn’t stick – calligraphy, origami, pottery, belly dancing, Orange Theory Fitness, meditation (although I will probably try that one again).
Then there were the things that the move (and the pandemic) disrupted and I’m still looking to reengage in FL – engaging in a women’s collective philanthropic, being active in a women’s club (OH was theater, FL looks like it’ll be gardening), and having a foodie couples group (still a WIP in FL).
You might ask, “What did stick?” Here are some things on that list: yoga, Zumba, daily journaling, blog writing, book club, daily crossword, learning spaces (mostly in psychology space – from positive psychology and the science of well being to enneagram and now into a re-emerging feminine consciousness). I’ve learned to enjoy the dabbling – in craft stuff, in Tarot and moon phases, in cooking. And I’ve embraced being the designated planner for my Fun Tribe circle.
Retirement life is a series of transitions. It is fine to try things out or even to do things for a while and then change it up. It’s all about figuring out what is right for your retirement lifestyle – based on your values and your interests.
For more on retirement transition insights into designing your own retirement lifestyle, check out my book… still available on Amazon (link here)
Picture Credit: my dabbling in crafts this week.