June 28, 2010

Satisfying Retirement: The First Stage

As noted in the previous post, one thing my first stage of retirement didn't experience was the loss of office interaction. For most of my consulting career I worked alone. There were a few clients and industry friends who I talked with several times a week. And, I will admit that not having the phone ring or the e-mail inbox full everyday did bother me a bit at first. But, the "water cooler" type of relationship was one I didn't miss because it wasn't part of my experience. During the first stage of developing a new satisfying retirement lifestyle I did discover a few things that you may be able to relate to.
  • Time becomes both a friend and later, an enemyFuture posts will detail the potential problem of having each day fully available to you. But, in the very first stage of retirement time can be seen as a tremendous ally. Suddenly you have control of the clock. You determine how your day is to be structured. Of course,  commitments to a spouse or other relationships don't stop. But, the blessing of a day and evening that lacks the rigidity of your former workday fills you with a real sense of freedom.
  • Self discovery is a journey that begins anew. You learn things about yourself and spouse that you never knew while working 8 hours a day. We've all read about the adjustments that a spouse has to make when the husband or wife is suddenly "underfoot" 24/7.  It is true, even if you worked from home for all or part of your career. Unless you are single, that other human being is not used to your charming presence all the time. If you approach the process as a positive, the personality traits, thoughts, and interests of the other person gives you a glorious chance to expand and grow yourself.
  • Your "possibles" list has fewer restraints. Books you have wanted to read, trips you want to plan and take, projects around the house, changing a spare bedroom into hobby space, taking on a new hobby that has always intrigued you, involvement in volunteer work, the chance to more fully develop your spiritual side if that is your thing,.....the list of "possibles" can be endless. Of course, limits are imposed by financial, family, or health issues. But, those boundaries are quite a bit farther apart when you are enjoying a satisfying retirement lifestyle.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so pleased to have discovered your blog today! First, there aren't many people blogging about the non-financial aspects of retirement. I'm excited to read about the adjustments from someone that has been on this path for 8 years longer than I have. I haven't made it all the way through your posts yet, but am enjoying them all so far. Keep up the great blogging!


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