We each carry around a picture or visual schema of what people are supposed to do once they retire. Often this is based on the kinds of retirement activities we observed our family members engaging in and the social constructs that have existed for decades about this chapter in the life course. Stereotypical activities such as golfing, playing pickle ball or bridge populate our thinking about this stage of life.
The process of aging, which permeates these societal expectations and also may create stigma, complicates this.
So, what types of activities do you pursue when you retire and begin the process of reinvention?
The answer to that question seems to be elusive for some and easily addressed for others. It is critical to recognize that for some people, there may be as many as 30 plus years ahead of them. That is often the same length of time that many people have worked in full time jobs. Perhaps this is what makes some people nervous when they contemplate leaving work. That horizon ahead, may represent decades in our lives. This can be intimidating or exhilarating or both.
Individuals who have well developed plans for reinvention when they leave work often seem to move full throttle ahead. To some, this might seem like the last opportunity to recreate your life, leaving the past behind and pursuing new possibilities. This can be daunting and no one has a crystal ball that tells them how long they have.
Setting clear intentions may help guide your direction, whatever that is, whether it actually is golf, pickle ball or something else. Developing a focus with an actual plan helps. Trying out new pursuits and creating a passion based on a life long love of learning has helped me navigate the first couple years of my retirement. Narrowing down my list of activities and what I truly wished to pursue, has helped propel me in ways that have moved my quest for reinvention forward.
Discovering when something doesn’t resonate or fit my new lifestyle and feeling free to release it by discarding what no longer make sense. All of this has occurred in a trial and error kind of way. When you make significant changes in your life, what approaches have proven to be most helpful for you? This has been a pivotal aspect of reinvention and I will continue to revisit this in the future on this blog. Your comments and input would be appreciated.