It's your time, right?
It's not usually what we do that we regret at the end of our lives, it's what we DIDN'T do.
You had an image when you were a kid or adolescent, teen, and you imagined things you wanted to do as a grownup. Maybe during adulthood you had opportunities you turned down.
Let's make a list -
What artistic/musical dream did you harbor?
What hobby did you give up?
What interest did you not learn, like a language, a musical instrument, using a pottery wheel?
What places did you want to visit?
What relationship were you not brave enough to initiate or commit?
Where did you dream of going on a road trip when you got your license?
These are important questions to ask yourself.
Perhaps you loved to shoot baskets as a kid but have no hoop now. Did you want to camp at Yellowstone? Maybe you dreamed of snorkeling in Fiji. Have you always wanted an all pink room in your home? It could be that you wanted to master a potter's wheel.
There are always those certain dreams that, even through the decades, remain the template for adult life you laid out so long ago -
1. I wanted my own cottage. On our property, my siblings got a cottage to live in at the age of 16 if they had a job to buy their own food. We moved away when I was 15. I never quite gave up that dream of my own place, my own decor, my own inspiration. Of course, here I am in latter life finally getting my very own nest to do what I want with. Living the dream!
2. I daydreamed a LOT as a kid of getting in a car when I got a license and driving across country to California. I did marry at 21 and moved directly to California. Did that. But now, I can enjoy road trips with friends, just like I imagined as a kid, laughter, music, windows rolled down, scenery whizzing past.
3. It was a given that I was going to see faraway places. My father traveled the world in the Navy during WWII and Korean Wars and for his business later on. His stories intrigued me. I got a passport. I still have not left. Furthest distance? Hawaii. Although I pretty much refuse to fly any longer, I can still make a trek to Mexico or Canada or take a cruise to a faraway place.
4. I wanted to work in many industries and eventually just be self-employed. I worked in secretarial, medical, modeling, stock trading, oil and gas, writing, publicity, film industry. I just started my own LLC for my film industry work as a screenwriter, publicist, and actress.
5. I always imagined an artist's life. I pictured an unusual home that is eccentric and eclectic, bohemian fashion, playful expressions like murals, blowing bubbles, a garden of fresh veggies, flowers, and my own sculptures. I would be a bit new-agie with meditation and grounding barefoot walking in grass, crystals, windchimes, a handpan instrument to relax, be upbeat, positive, happy, thankful, and very playful. I've been making that converion for some years now and it is an utter delight. I feel more myself than I have since I was a carefree kid and the teacher asked us to make macaroni art and dance around under a parachute.
Dreams don't even have to cut into a retiree's budget. Use what you have, upcycle, recycle, play. There are lots of instructive videos online to help with learning something whether it's how to change your garbage disposal or how to sing or play guitar.
Find your people. I go online to YouTube often and find lots of people doing the kinds of lifestyle I want. They are lifestyle influencers or instructors. I found ones in health, gardening, renovation, surfers, woman with her own home, artists....
I've been known to want to go to Hawaii sooooo much, I get a kiddie pool, fill it up, make mai tai's, order teriyaki, wear a swimsuit all weekend, use a balance board while I watch surfing videos, nap, watch movies that take place in Hawaii, and listen to Hawaiian music.
You can find lots of free events too whether it's a meetup group you find online or on Facebook, outdoor art shows, free concerts in the park, hiking paths, and the like.
Just remember, when you were a kid you were not expected to work, just to grow, learn, be creative, figure things out, master skills. You're having your second childhood now and if you don't want to age, grow, learn, be creative, figure things out, master skills....