Getting To Life After

Retirement is everything I wrote about in my previous blog. There is another side. Making the final step to retirement can be challenging. You can say I can’t wait until I retire–I never wanted to work. Are you really ready to give up that job that has become a security blanket? Did you know you have become more attached than you ever thought you would? That makes your job an idol.
I found myself in that position. Once I faced the fact that the job was my idol, I decided I needed to call and give a date to retire. When I attempted to set the date another monster showed up. That monster was fear. It shook me for several hours and then peace washed over me and I was able to give a date. Once I faced off the demons, idol and fear, I was able to step into my future and haven’t looked back.
I had a mindset about retirement that I wasn’t aware of until I had to evaluate the big picture. Having an attachment to my job that held me captive, I unconsciously equated retirement with being old, put out to pasture, and useless. I was younger than most people when they retired so I didn’t want to be seen in that light. I had to leave my job to continue in the purpose and destiny God had for me.
My fears were unfounded. I left my job with compensation for my years of service, moved to another state and into a new stage of my life. I’m partaking in the perks of not having to punch a time clock and under God–I’m my own boss.
I’m truly blessed.

Life After

I have a friend I met at work. She is still working, but I retired several years ago. We keep in touch–she is a blessing to me. We encourage each other all the time through kind words, share family stories, a lot of other things. We’ve had an email going for several days now. I have been sharing tips on how I transitioned from regimented work life to wonderful retired life without a tight schedule.

This is what I told her. Keep rehearsing life after work. Loosely plan and don’t get bent out of shape if things don’t go exactly how you plan. Go with the flow. Don’t map out every day. Hang loose. You have been regimented for a long time and will be until you leave the workforce.

When you’re finally free do the things on your bucket list. If you try the things on your list and they don’t turn out to be what you thought, trash the activities and go on to the next and next and next until you get through them or you decide you’re done. Stay up late and get up late. Go to the pool in your neighborhood and find other retirees. Get to know them. This can be an exciting part of your new life.

Volunteer at your place of worship. See the other side of church, not just the Sunday best. Choose some other organization but volunteer because you want to, not because you have to. Play cards with friends, go to the movies, eat out.

After I retired. At first I felt like I needed God to tell me every day that it was okay not to go to work. After several months, that problem went away. Now I take each day as it comes. There are times I have scheduled things to do, but I don’t do that all the time. The only constant in my life is bowling on two leagues and tournaments. I’m working on getting a writer’s group started. Other than that, I’m hanging loose and flying free.

What a wonderful life.

For you lucky retired folks how is it going for you? For those working toward retirement what is in your heart to do when the time comes?