A list of ten things has a nice roundness to it. Very metric. Besides, covering all of these items and doing them well will likely take up a good deal of your retirement days. And if you haven’t retired yet, then this is a good opportunity to get a head start on some of these things.
Prior to actually retiring, devise a plan. I formulated a series of ten steps for a contented retirement. Because a constantly happy retirement would also be just as exhausting.
There is always a major emphasis on happiness. Consider the happiest place or time you have ever been. Did it last for a substantial period of time? All day perhaps, or just a few hours, minutes? I am just suggesting that you do not have to exhaust yourself achieving this constant level of happiness, when a nice level of well-being will do just as nicely.
So, I have laid out a nice series of visuals. Each of these sections comes with a few stories to give a bit of an example. Some of the more recent work by behavioral economists tries to explain that we communicate and relate to others through stories.
Some of these stories have been around for decades, centuries and some for thousands of years. Some stories have lost their potency, while others have shown some amazing staying power.
Be like Alice in Wonderland. Metaphorically figure out where you want to end up. If you do not know where you want to go, then any road lined with mini umbrella drinks will get you there. This likely includes thinking where you actually want to be during certain points of time. Staying in one place allows seeing all of the seasons. Move around and perhaps you can follow your favorite season.
This past winter I was at a conference with my wife. She was in meetings and I was a kept man, so I did the manly thing and struck out on my own without telling anyone.
I left the hotel grounds and followed this one path that went out into the forest and hills. No working smart phone, no water, no food, just a blind sense that this would be fun in some fashion.
After I walked for an unknown period of time, I began to realize that I didn’t know how long I had been walking. The tall trees blocked any sort of orientation view. The snow blocked all of the sounds from any other person. There were no trail makers. I didn’t know how far I had gone or if I would actually end up somewhere. There was no issue about getting lost since all I had to do was turn around and go back. But I had this sense of being in one of those sensory isolation chambers. I didn’t know where I was or where I was going or how long I was away. The passage of time disappeared. If I kept wandering till it was dark, then that would have been a separate issue.
Therein lies some necessity for a list, or a series of steps to tell oneself where one is on the path of self-discovery. If you have never discovered yourself before, how do you know what you might look like?
Once you finished living to work, now you can start working to live.
Becoming untethered has a connotation that one was tethered in the first place. Most of us are tethered in some fashion. Perhaps emotionally, mentally spiritually. If you are physically tethered, hopefully that’s a lifestyle choice. And so long as no one gets hurt, it is all fine. Unless you want to get hurt, and we assume that is a lifestyle choice once again.
If you really intend to become untethered, then is following any sort of path the right thing to do? I would suggest having some guideposts would help since there are bramble bushes all along the way. Best to avoid them if at all possible.
Lists provide a bit of closure. How can you tell if you have finished walking a path if you don’t follow the sign posts?
Retirement needs rebranding. When people asked me when I plan to retire, I told them that I intend a paradigm shift in a year or two. I do not intend to retire from life.
I entered this transitional state where retirement just seems to be on the horizon. This state feels different from working and different from actually being retired. Change can be exciting, so I wrote about my experiences in this changing state of life.
We met up with a couple of long-time friends. Not old friends. Not in their minds. She had retired last year and a work acquaintance asked her what it like going from 60 to 0? I am surprised my friend did not give the person a bit of smack upside of the head and ask what that was like. She only did that figuratively.
Our retired friend has not slowed down. If anything she is moving at the same speed. When we retire, we still go the speed limit, or perhaps a bit faster. We are just on a nicer, less crowded highway.