• Phyllis Prestamo

Thinking of Retiring? With Glee or with Dread?

When I was nearing retirement, I was super excited and began to dream about all that I would do. My new craft room/work room/office/studio was just waiting for me. My list of projects was endless and I couldn't wait to explore new creative outlets and work on those I already loved, but this isn't the case with everyone. I was at a dinner not too long ago and a friend of mine said, "Yes, I want to retire soon, but what would I do? I am not crafty like you."She looked at retirement with a very different outlook. It got me to thinking about what could be fulfilling for someone who would not be caught dead at a sewing machine or using the latest in glue guns. Perhaps the following would help in navigating the process:

  • Prepare: Start creating new networks, maybe some people you know that are already retired. They may be the perfect companions for lunch dates, a book club, a yoga class or a trip to a museum. This bridge with people you already know may help and be a very supportive network as your life is changing. I have some beach buddies that retired before me and I switched to a day time Bible study group with people I knew from my church.

  • Aim for Contrast: Because you are retired does not mean every moment of your life needs to be booked with things to do. A rainy or snowy day is a great excuse to stay in and binge watch a TV series you've always wanted to watch or do an entire jigsaw puzzle. It's OK to spend time on Pinterest or a video game. Why? Because you can! As many retirees will tell you, they can be very busy people, tutoring at the local library, volunteering at a food pantry, going to spin class or just taking care of all their doctor appointments. (It sure seems that I see quite a few more doctors in my older years.) So be sure not to wear your self out with a too full schedule.

  • Have New Things to Talk About: Constantly telling your friends about what you used to do or used to be? How about telling them about what you have been up to since retiring. Tell them about the adult course you are taking or the trip you are planning. Mentioning to friends that I saw that there was going to be a showing of "Gone With the Wind" at our local movie theater, led to a group outing and tea and coffee afterward. You never know!

  • Keep a Diary or a Journal: Some of the new journals printed these days and even journal apps for your phone or tablet can help one feel a sense of accomplishment. I look back on all that I've done my first year of retirement and I am amazed at all I've been able to do. Here's some of my favorites: 2020 Planner Undated Planner starts whenever you're ready. For the Tech savvy - Planner Pro - Daily Calendar app for IPhone and IPad or Time Planner -Daily Organizer app for IOS devices.

  • Be Patient: Adjusting to retirement can take time. Establish your new rituals and new ways of doing things. I used to cram a lot of chores in on the weekends; and then I thought, I don't have to join the crowds at the grocery store on the weekend or do my laundry on Saturday morning. And going to the movies on a Saturday night is a thing of the past; we now go on Tuesdays where it's only $6. per ticket. Why not spread out your must do chores over the week days.

What does your 2.0 life look like?

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