Wednesday, August 30, 2017

How to Adjust to Retirement When the Daily Grind Ends – Part 2


Daily Grind Hamster Wheel with gears in the background


The transition continues…

I retired 8 months ago, and I continue transitioning away from the daily grind of a structured work environment to a life of my own choosing. There have been great days and blah days, busy ones and lazy ones, and yes, mourning and depression. I’m not going to paint a 100% rosy picture for you, because one of the things I say all the time now is “why didn’t someone tell me how hard this can be?” Am I the only person on the planet who has heard endless talk of the finances around retirement, but not a peep about the actual transition experience! All of you already-retired folks couldn’t mention this, say back in January at the start of this journey? I guess I’m on my own here?

Changing everything up

I’m figuring this out as I go, and maybe I can help those who will be retiring in the future. Change the way your morning starts after decades in the work force is a challenge! For example, I used to open my eyes and immediately start reviewing the urgent list of things to do AT WORK, and also wonder about the WORK emergencies that would surprise me. I built this habit – crazy as it is – over decades, and it was as natural as brushing my teeth. There isn’t a switch on the side of your head that turns that off – you have to work through it. In the middle of the “hmmm, what has to get done today” routine, you say, “wait, that’s not what I do anymore, that was the old daily grind.”

There is another new issue, at least in my life. I now have time to spend caring for elderly in laws. My time is my gift to this situation, so there is gratitude wrapped up with the challenge of wanting to do my own thing, or visit my 8 perfect grandkids. Retirement also shines a light on my own mortality and I question if my legacy is in place or still needs work. I’ve got things to learn and projects to finish! Yikes!!

After the daily grind

Well, that’s enough about the hard stuff. Let’s talk about some of the good stuff like not setting a wake up alarm, even though it doesn’t matter much because the dog didn’t get the message about the change. And how ‘bout the new work clothes? Yoga pants and T-shirts all the way. Comfortable and invigorating! I already mentioned having time for self care in Part 1 – you can read that here:

True confession: I let my morning routine fall by the wayside for about 6 weeks. Just wasn’t into it. Or maybe a little down in the dumps, who knows. What did I learn? Lazy mornings are generally followed by a lazy day. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is energetic renewal in having a pajama day every now and then, but I really, really, REALLY don’t want to be one of those retirees who has to buy a golf cart to go to the mailbox because it’s too far, too hot, my feet hurt, etc. So I’m back to my routine and loving it! I’m adding a little exercise, meditation, yoga and better nutrition! These things are the foundation to a great attitude and plenty of energy to make my 2nd act remarkable.

How ’bout you?

What about your 2nd act? How do you imagine YOUR retirement – will there be more time for hobbies or travel? Talk about your dreams in the comments below of join the discussion over on Facebook: Life Concoction FB







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