Didn’t accomplish much today – Retirement and Good Living
The woman spoke the words gently, after we had a long conversation about her career ending and her new ‘retirement’ starting – “I think of things to do for the following day, and at the end of the next day I think, well, I didn’t accomplish very much”. She had some volunteer ideas and a family matter to plan, but it was all a bit limited, and she knew it.
Daily Shopping is a Drag – Her husband piped up: “before I retired, I worked for a large firm. In the cubicle next to me there was this guy who was a bit older than me. One day he gave his notice of retirement. A few weeks later, we had a nice party for him, the boss said some nice things about him and then he emptied out his cubicle. His spot stayed empty for two weeks, then suddenly he showed up working in his cubicle one day. I asked him, ‘What happened, I thought you retired?’ He replied, ‘I did, and after two weeks I learned that you can only go to the supermarket so many times each week’. And that is the truth.”
The Blank Slate – I shared these stores with one of our Transition Advisors, Paul Cohen, a very successful dentist who had sold his practice recently and retired – his long-held dream. Paul said “that when you’re in your career, you have such a highly structured day with so many people to see and so much to do – your calendar is chock full. Then you retire and you have a kind of blank slate”. (Paul had some plans around continuing his mentoring of young dentists and wanting to build a consulting practice; he saw after a year that he needed a methodology for working with late-career dentists and marketing knowledge, which is why he chose to go through our training).
Deep Thinking Required – All of these stories are not unusual, in fact it is what nearly all newly retired folks go through. Some hit it early, others after the “I’m on permanent vacation” illusion wears off. The common thread is that to have a successful next chapter, you need to do some deep thinking about who you really are at this stage of life and what you really want to do to enjoy retirement and good living.
It’s about Purpose, stupid – Simply put, all of these folks are seeking a new sense of purpose to replace the one they held while working in their old careers. Some did little life planning, and deep thinking about the kind of person they wanted to be. Those are mistakes that most people make as they enter ‘retirement’.
As you contemplate a shift from your full time career, what are you doing to create a sense of purpose in your life? If you are struggling with an answer (more than ‘my grandchildren, my boat, my golf game or my garden’), I suggest you take the How Ready Are You? Assessment (FREE). Click the image below to download it for free: