Want to Find Meaning in Retirement?
Reaching retirement age creates cacophony of conflicting emotions. On the one hand, we feel a sense of relief that, after decades of hard work, we will finally be able to pursue our passions. On the other hand, with all of our social relationships changing, it’s easy to feel lost, or even fearful about the future. With so much change going on around us, what can we do to find meaning in retirement? When I asked this question to the women in the Sixty and Me community, several patterns emerged. In a previous article, I talked about how facing your mortality, exploring your spirituality and learning to put yourself first can create a strong foundation for a happy retirement. Now, I’d like to talk about the importance of forgiveness, planning and health to finding meaning in life after retirement.
Go forward, not back. Don’t dwell on the past, Regrets? Forget ’em and move forward. Now is the time to pursue your passions and set the road map for the next chapter in your life. Sure you need to forgive your self and others for past transgressions or mistakes, but now is the time to get on with the rest of your life. In order to do that, take an inventory of things you are going to leave behind, people you are going forgive and then write t it all down on a piece of paper. Then I want you to do something – tear up that paper and don’t give that list a second thought.
On another piece of paper write down all the things you are proud that you accomplished. I call this the proud list. Celebrate it. Perhaps even take note of stores you would like to share with with your grand children.
The most important thing you can do for yourself as you start your retirement is to get and stay healthy. Planning and sticking to an exercise regimen could be the single most important thing you do for yourself in your retirement.