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.
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.
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. She only did that figuratively.
When we retire, we still go the speed limit, or perhaps a bit faster. We are just on a nicer, less crowded highway.