Beginnings are wonderful things: They are full of possibilities, they’re free, and everyone gets a new one any time they choose. What will you do with your new beginning called… retirement?
“Where are you movin’?” I once was asked. “On to better things!” I replied.
When I retired from the golf industry, I WAS moving on to better things, and suddenly I also felt like a fish out of water. Without the identity of my career, I wasn’t sure who I was anymore. A huge part of my identity had dissolved when I left my career.
Other women have experienced many the same reactions as I. A friend told me that early in retirement, she cried almost every single day. For moments each day, she felt gut-wrenching dread about being able to maintain her lifestyle on savings and social security. At various times each day the nay-sayer voice in her head re-played fearful, life-devastating scenarios … she failed, she ran out of money, she became homeless. Of course, none of that happened: they were just scary potential scenarios she created in her mind.
I could relate to her fears, although I was re-married just a couple of years prior to retiring. I enjoyed emotional and financial support from my husband. Still, my foundation was rocked. I didn’t want to be forced to rely on his income. I had lived self-sufficiently alone for many years prior to marrying. I discovered that being able to care for myself, financially, was a lot of my identity.
As frightening as the decision was to retire, it was also exciting! I felt like a kid on Christmas morning because each day was a fresh canvas on which only I could draw. I knew this phase of life was one in which I could enjoy time AND freedom. My life and decisions were finally my own!
I embraced my belief that beginnings are wonderful things!
I began doing one new thing every week for a year: 52 new things. They were fun beginnings and it was an exercise to discover what I liked, who I was, and how I wanted to spend my time in retirement.
Some of the things I tried could be acquired inexpensively: I joined Toastmasters to improve my public speaking skills and began attending Meet-ups for retired women. Others, like reading a new author, could be accessed at the local library…