Say yes invites you to do new things for the whole first year of retirement. You can pare down and be selective after that.
Before retirement, our lives are pretty much consumed by the time on the job and the ancillary time required to get to and from the job, prepare meals, oversee the household responsibilities and carve a little time for immediate friends and family.
In today’s rapid-paced fast lane, most opportunities not directly related to “the career” are categorized as “back burner.” Sometimes that burner never gets revisited while the front burner gets “burned out.”
Now you have the luxury of time. If you plan thoughtfully, you will have the absence of “hurry.” That formula should result in life fulfillment and self-actualization. You can try on different shoes to see what’s the most comfortable fit for this new phase of your life.
Your neighbors, friends, and family are used to having you available for snatches of time before or after work. They have been conditioned to respect your constraints and not bother you for what may be trivial. They have a routine in their lives that hasn’t included you, their too-busy friend. Host a little “getting to know you” brunch at your home to get reacquainted. It would be fun!
The good news is that you are available now! Go to an unhurried lunch. Take a relaxed shopping trip. Play a round of golf. Attend a class. The list is endless. This is the time to reach out to friends and neighbors and let them know that you would like to be included.
Start a little plan about what retirement looks like to you. This will help you filter the choices. This is the time that you check your list and think about activities that gave you great pleasure as you were being molded into today’s picture of you.
The Dancing Dream
For me it was costumes, dancing and tapping feet to the rhythm of the beat. Of course that was a good fifty years earlier in my life. Nevertheless, I said YES!
I said yes to a senior tap-dance group from the senior center. Most of my career was spent meeting deadlines, arguing budgets, competing for business and presenting my point of view.
Generally, I kept my closet ‘Rockette’ under wraps. Though I retired from my “real job” I had flex time working as a consultant in my previous field. I found I had time to strap on an old pair of tap shoes and revamp my childhood “shuffle ball change.”
I spotted the opportunity in a community newsletter and decided to run by and have a look. When I entered the center I could hear strains of “New York, New York’ from a nearby piano. My pulse quickened as I entered the room. There they were. Other closet dancers, retired from their structured careers, following childhood dreams, attempting high kicks and waving top hats and canes with great abandon. I was hooked!
After a year of fun, laughs, memorizing various routines and wearing a plethora of satin and net costumes for the pleasure of our primary audiences, assisted living facilities, I decided to hang up my tap shoes for the time being and try something else. That’s okay, I’m retired.
Try writing the things you enjoyed from years past and would like to try again. Write your thoughts in your notebook and add them to your positive retirement plan started in chapters:
Retirement 1: Creating a Retirement Life Plan and
Retirement 2: Say Yes! the first year of Retirement
These self discovery questions can only be answered by you. This is for your fulfilled retirement life. Let’s get started.