Before you begin to plan the nuts and bolts of your ideal retirement, make the life-changing decision to embrace happiness. This may not be as simple as it sounds, but it can be done. So much of how we feel is a decision. Consider the example of Abraham Lincoln.
President Lincoln said that we’re just about as happy as we make up our minds to be. That’s truly amazing when you consider that he suffered from melancholia (clinical depression) and that he had recently lost a beloved son and was responsible for steering the nation through a brutal Civil War.
If Lincoln could decide to be happy, surely we could give it a try! Here are some proven ways to raise our level of happiness.
Begin by being as good to yourself as you’d be to a friend. Most of us tend to be pretty hard on ourselves. Pay yourself first.
Think back to the times that you’ve been far more accepting and forgiving to others in your life than you were to yourself and see if you can’t cut yourself some slack. There’s nothing selfish in that.
Special gifts just for you.
Start by doing things that enrich you – your body, your mind, and your soul. Find things that nurture you and make you feel good about yourself. They can be big things – traveling to South America – or small things – learning to bake the perfect pie!
Increase your self esteem and self confidence.
Applying these gifts to your life will increase your sense of self and your self-confidence. Research echoes these suggestions. Take a look at this excerpt from Psychology Today.
“As we learn better self-care, we become better people in general. When we are in touch with our own feelings, we can then reach out more effectively to others and show love and empathy to them also.
If we are filling our own emotional tanks with self-respect and loving care, we have much more to give to our families, friends, and the world in general.”
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. Continue reading Retirement 2: Say Yes the First Year of Retirement
Valentine’s Day – though unbelievably commercial – can be nice. Hearts and flowers and candy. What’s not to like? That’s all well and good if you’re getting hearts and flowers and candy. But what if you’re not? Positive aging means more than just being positive about other people!
Pam Mangene and Dixie Shaw are two friends who met over forty years ago. Our paths crossed on our way to a newcomer function in Dallas, Texas in the early 1970s when our children were toddlers. Now, their children are in high school.
Though we’ve lived on opposite ends of our nation and our world, we’ve always managed to visit each other, travel together and keep close track of our children, grandchildren and husbands. We’ve collaborated about many opportunities over the years as our separate careers took us down different paths and now have established a place to share observations on those various stages of life.
More information is available about our backgrounds on later pages but for now, let’s get started. We would love to hear from you and about your Richly Aged years.