December 26, 2019

A Retirement Shake-up

Don't we experience times when we are simply going through the motions? Every day is much like the day before. It is safe and predictable. There is a comfortable routine to the day. Nothing really new or interesting happens. There are no problems we can't handle without a little effort. Inspiration is taking a break. Life moves forward. One of my favorite authors, Richard Rohr, puts it this way: "The familiar and the habitual are so falsely reassuring that most of us make our homes there permanently."


But, is that truly living a satisfying retirement? How can I find new energy for whatever might be just around the corner?




Pay attention & shake it up

As I noted in an earlier post, I am beginning to broaden the subject matter of Satisfying Retirement. I want to write about some of the things that upset or please me. I want to write a bit more personally about aspects of my life that move me. I want to shake up what are appropriate topics for a retirement blog.


One of my best sources for renewed energy and a fresh direction is to stop long enough to look at the world around me. 
What is happening in the world that keeps slapping me in the face, demanding I pay more attention, take a more active role in highlighting its effect on us? 

What in my life might give me inspiration if taken in a different direction? Old photos, movies, a play or theater presentation, mementos around the house, the birds in the backyard, people at the mall, actually just about anything can inspire if my mood is right and I'm open to seeing things in a new way.

What are my attempts at oil painting, photo editing, guitar playing, or volunteer teaching 5th graders about the economy and smart money management teaching me about myself and my retirement journey?

Looking for a new angle or use of the everyday, meeting a new person or having a new experience, any of these can energize an otherwise mundane day. I might read something in a magazine that changes my perspective. Checking out my favorite bloggers almost always forces me to open my mind to some different idea. Shaking up a routine or attempting to break an unproductive habit can be just the boost I need to get moving again.


Sometimes you just have to act


There will be times when you must force yourself to take action. It would be easier and more pleasant to avoid whatever it is. But, the problem isn't going away until you confront it. Whether this is a relationship issue, a health concern, a financial upset, or even where to go on vacation you may have to simply grit your teeth and do something. Problems and opportunities don't respond well to inaction.

I dislike the "ready, fire, aim" approach most of the time. But, I have done just that at times when I had a brain-lock and had to simply "do."


Look for something fresh from others


Inspiration for your life can often comes from an outside source. Interacting with other people may be an effective way to find an answer to a problem. They may not directly address what your need is. But, by simply being with them you may find a new path toward something. Being with a group of people you enjoy can't help but make you feel better.

Joining a new club, organization, or church group may be the spark you need. Volunteering in a setting where you interact with folks who need your help and are different from those you normally spend time with can often do the trick. My seven years of prison ministry gave me me an entirely fresh perspective on people. Folks I know help with meals at local rescue missions. They tell me there are fewer ways to learn so quickly the connection we all have with each other and the simple joy of serving.


Maybe you simply need a retread



Reusing or reworking something you have done before is really what retirement is all about. A lifetime of behavior and expectations are up for review. Just because you thought one way while working doesn't mean that line of thought is best for your life now.

Was there an interest or hobby you used to love that fell by the wayside? Is it time to bring it back, maybe in a slightly different way? When you were 30 you loved to mountain bike. But, now at 70 maybe trail riding is safer and more suited to your body. You still love to bike, but you change the approach.


Kick starting your satisfying retirement really is just a case of rejecting the status quo. As our hour glass begins to run lower on sand, waiting for tomorrow to energize yourself today is probably not the wisest course.



Note: make an effort to read the January 2nd post. I am trying something I have never done before. I have no idea what the outcome will be but it is certainly an attempt to shake things up, if even for just one day.

15 comments:

  1. A New Year is a great time to try new things and set a new course. I look forward to the January 2 "shake up". All the best to you and Betty in 2020.

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    1. The January 2nd experiment will either be a one-time only event or become a regular part of my life. We will see. Thanks for the well wishes. We are looking forward to an exciting 2020.

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  2. Count me in on looking forward to your 'shake up' coming in with the new year. Hope you and your wife and family had a wonderful Christmas.

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    1. We had a great family Christmas yesterday...presents for the grandkids, played a new game, and had a dinner with enough food to give leftovers to everyone!

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  3. You have touched on something I've been thinking a lot about recently. Not exactly a New Year's resolution... more like a personal quest. I love the Richard Rohr quote. "Familiar and habitual" can be very comforting, until they aren't. Time to shake things up!

    I'm looking forward to your Jan. 2 post!

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    1. It is something simple that Betty and I are doing together. It will last one day only. We have no idea what effect it will have on us after that day, but we want to start 2020 off differently.

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  4. Looking forward to seeing your Jan 2 post! We have just come off a week of crazy Christmas with 6 yo and 3 yo grands here. Our house is completely silent today - which is the absolute opposite of the past week. We're enjoying the peace. Happy New Year!

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    1. We will have our 3 grandkids here for a sleepover on New Year's eve. Betty has about 10 games ready. Along with movies and marshmallows over the fire pit, we should be set.

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  5. Hi Bob! Oooh...I love surprises and can't wait to see what you have planned for January 2nd. I too am planning to shake things up a bit on my blog starting with my post on January 3rd. Wouldn't it be synchronistic if we both planned something similar???? Looking forward to your big reveal! ~Kathy

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  6. Bob,
    Thank you for steering me to Richard Rohr's writing. I'm moving through "Falling Upward" right now and totally enjoying it. Much to ponder.

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    1. Glad you are enjoying his writing. I find his thoughts and logic very compelling.

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  7. I think you are going horseback riding! Why did that immediately pop into my mind?

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  8. I like to shake things up from time to time. I’m always open to a suggestion to try something new — to the point that I often find my calendar overly full. Something new that I’m going to add to my day in 2020 is meditation. I’ve tried it before but dropped it (despite liking the feeling of calmness it brought, along with the occasional surprising insight). The trick to making it stick might be where in my daily schedule I put it.

    Jude

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    1. The more I read about the benefits of meditation the more attractive the practice becomes.

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