3. Connect with others, especially your significant other. An important point would be discussing retirement planning with your significant other. You are going to be seeing more of each other. A lot more. And if my spouse were reading this, I would just confirm that it sounds fantastic!
So it would better to be on the same page. After a few months, you might be thinking about exploring the middle of Asia. And your suffering spouse may be beginning to think that sending you there sounds like a good idea.
2. Rethink happiness. Maybe it’s not all that it is cracked up to be. If you adhere to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, then you know that actualization can be found at the very top. If you did not become actualized before you retired, then now would be the time. Figuring out what that looks like and how to get there could become a fulltime activity.
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?
I was just reading a posting from Ramblings from Retirement which I just re-posted below. So many things struck home. His comment about how tea came in one flavour, tea flavour. My favorite was some of the difficulties in connecting his new type of TV to his system.
My favorite tea is now a white tea called Buddha’s blend. A series of different flavours combined with things that were never considered tea in the past.
I realized that life now comes with a lot more in the way of instructions than it ever did before. That level of complexity appears to be necessary in order to achieve this retiring life of simplicity we are now aiming for. Thoreau said ‘simplify, simplify, but I don’t think we can get there from here anymore.
I heard someone describe that the opposite of love is not hate, but rather apathy. Can you push someone so hard that they no longer care enough to provide any emotional input into the situation, whether work or a relationship?