Like many others I struggled with retirement. Retirement came quickly and I wasn't prepared. To be honest I hadn't even really thought about retiring, I had a successful business and I loved it. I was planning to continue working for many more years.
Going into the second year of COVID an opportunity came up to sell our business and we did. Basically I was retired over night. A big shock and adjustment. I wasn't expecting such a big change and really struggled with the transisition.
I researched how to adjust to this new phase of my life and came up with a few suggestions:
Stay active and engaged.
Explore new hobbies and interests.
Stay connected with loved ones.
Seek out new social connections.
As the manager of a golf course in a recreational, retirement community for over 20 years I had seen many people move to our area and retire. I knew the importance of joining the golf club, becoming active in the sport and joining in on all the social connections available. The adjustment seemed to go very well for those that did join in and create a social circle.
I found a few other tips that I tried and found helpful:
Wind down slowly: I tied up the loose ends of the company.
Get your finances in order: Worked on my finances and did up a new will.
Keep physically active: Joined a gym and golfed once or twice a week.
Have a health check: Had a physical.
Get out in nature: Went paddleboarding 2 or 3 times a week.
Keep in touch with friends from work: Had lunch and golf dates.
Develop a routine: Eating healthy, exercise, regular meals, regular morning and bed times.
Why did I still feel like it wasn't enough? I have too much I still want to do. There was still so much I want to accomplish in my life. I'm still young, I have so much to offer, I felt hadn't reached my full potential yet.
I asked around and others seemed to be content to just stay in their comfort zone or work on their golf game or take their yearly trip. What was wrong with me, why wasn't that enough for me? Why did I have this constant sense of unsatisfaction?
I knew there would be ups and downs in the retirement process but I was finding there was way more downs then ups. I had to do something before I fell into a dark zone. Back to the drawing board, I continued my research on how to adapt to retirement.
I had accepted I was done with the career I had, it wasn't that I wanted that back. I looked at it as a means of survival, a means to provide for myself and family. I wanted more than that now, something more fulfilling.
For years I had a sense of doing something that was fulfilling and meaningful, something where I motivated or inspired others to change for the better. I wanted the next 30 or so years to be my best years and I am starting now.
My personal journey started just before I turned 65. In my mind the timing was perfect. I started out by thinking what do I want to leave behind in my 64th year. What are the actions, habits, words, thoughts, behaviors, values and anything else that I do not want to take into my 65th year. I had about 2 weeks so I better get busy.
Here are the steps I took:
Wrote a list of all the things I didn't want.
Over the years I participated in many self improvement courses, and I combined the knowledge from these courses to create a process to help let go of things I no longer wanted.
Read up on the practice of letting go.
Did a letting go ceremony and burned each item on my list.
Sought out different modalities that specialized in letting go.
I have always been really connect to the power of the moon and there happened to be a full moon a week before my birthday. I used the energies of this full moon to release, release, release.
I was ready to let go of anything not serving me and move forward to create my best life ever. I believe when the time is right everything will fall into place. For me the time was definitely right . I was like a blank sheet of paper and I was ready to write the new script.
Now what? I had let go of what I don't want, but what did I want. I started writing and meditating about what I wanted to bring into my life. I had been working on myself for the past 30 years, attending many seminars, retreats and courses on self improvement so this wasn't new to me.
I discovered I wanted to bring more positive energy, more gratitude, more light and love into the world. I wanted to reach people and share my light with them, hoping to brighten their light. I knew I had the skills and potential to bring about positive change in peoples lives. What that looked like or how to proceed I wasn't sure.
The most spiritual place I had been was Sedona so I decided to look into something there.
On a Monday I signed up for a 4 day personal development retreat in Sedona, drove there on a Thursday and was standing in the hallway to Spirit Quest Sedona Retreats Friday morning at 9 am. I was ready and open to a journey of self discovery on how I was going to live my best life.
It was a very powerful and transforming 4 days, I am so grateful I made the choice to go.
Was it destiny that took me there? I felt I was being lead there. I had looked into retreats in Sedona many times throughout the years and nothing jumped out at me like this retreat did.
Let's recap my sequence of events:
Journal: Write out your hopes, dreams and wishes, who are you, what do you want.
Minfulness: Meditate, take time to contemplate the person you are deep down inside.
Gratitude and Positivity: Focus on being positive and grateful.
Seek Help: If you are struggling, get help, ask others, find people who have gone through what you are going through.
I had some direction now. I wanted to give back to others. What next?
Action: I was talking to my daughter about the possibility of starting a you tube channel. My plan was to serve people by motivating and inspiring using positive words of wisdom into their life. She suggested I start with a blog. I had no idea what a blog was let alone how to go about publishing one.
Everything I had read about doing a blog or youtube was to just get started. So that is how I went from not knowing what a blog was to writing my first blog.
Taking up this new project is the best thing I have done for myself. I find it very challenging and exciting, I get to exercise my mind and keep myself thinking and looking forward to researching subjects to write about. I no longer think of myself as retired. I am a blogger and I am looking forward to where this new journey will take me.
I invite you to join our Happiness Challenge | Hummingbird and Owl this is a completely free challenge we have put together to help you increase the positive light in your life. If there is any part of you that is feeling stuck or feeling that you need to make some changes. This challenge will help you with starting a new journey. I really hope you join me in this challenge.
I found a sense of purpose and I love it.