Retirement is a departure from the purpose of work and also the routine of work. You already know the compensation ends. The routine that surrounds and supports your work also ends.
Find your new purpose?
When the purpose ends so does the routine that surrounds and supports your work. You know the routine that I’m talking about:
- Preparing clothing for work
- Planning ahead for fixing dinner. Need to stop at the store on the way home?
- Buying your lunch? Fix a lunch.
- If there’s family, getting them up and off to their destinations.
- Gas in the car?
- Setting the alarm for 1-2 hours before starting the commute.
- The commute. Is it an hour each way? Less? More? Allow for traffic, weather.
- To do List to clear up what wasn’t finished yesterday. Start on new projects.
- Family activities after work?
- Stop at the dry cleaners.
After retirement, that routine changes drastically. The drain on your time changes from all the tasks listed above to “What am I going to do today?” Sure you still need to keep up with the laundry, the meals planned and the family attended to, though they probably have their own homes by now. You have all day to deal with these items and if not today, then tomorrow works too.
Find Your New Purpose
Now is the time to shift your passions and probe your curiosity to identify your new purpose in retirement.
Purpose evolves as you pass through the many phases of your life. This may stem from passions from the past or desires at one time or another that you didn’t have time to pursue. In retirement your constraints are lessened because you may be downsizing your home, the kids are through college, the car is paid for, the weddings are over and you are into the next phase.
Now, the “job well done” may only come from inside you after retirement, but the truth of the statement still resonates. And it may resonate on a much more personal level that will have residuals that far out-distance a title and a salary.
How do you find purpose?
What are you curious about? Write down one thing you can do every day to make your part of the world a better place. Or identify something you could change in your everyday life that will bring you more in line with your authentic self.
Formulating a plan will put you in the position of pro-action and keep you from the knee jerk response of reaction.
Start by listing all known possibilities. Evaluate the appeal and benefit of each. Then throw away what doesn’t feel like a fit at this time. Once you’ve clarified your purpose, you discover new passions.
In the words of Michelangelo when asked how he approached his masterpiece, “David,” he replied, “I took away all the parts that didn’t belong.”
Let this exercise be your chisel to creating your masterpiece. Let’s chip away all the parts that no longer belong in your life while exploring all the activities that can enrich your life.
You are doing great. Little by little,we are discovering what you want your retirement to look like.
Write these results in your retirement “happy life” journal and let’s keep going.