Retirement: Retiring From Practical Life to ???


They call it "retiring," but the connotations of that are - you're done being useful. What they should call it is "reprioritizing." 

Some of the things that occur in that 62 and up range - 

rethinking relationships



taking up old hobbies and interests

hitting the bucket list items

finding a partner for the ride

heading to warmer location

starting a supplemental side hustle

dealing with health issues

focusing on exercise/healthy living

There are tons of logistics involved financially for retirement, but when you get past the red tape bullshit, you move into the really weird part - where you can sleep in, don't need an alarm clock, find your days are so long you eat supper early to get the night started as if you want to burn through the days.

Some things you might go through - 

a desire to look up childhood friends/crushes

loneliness, feeling disconnected from work mates

a desire to see a place you dreamed of visiting, like the Florida Keys or maybe italy

bored - without purpose to days 

weight gain

buying a guitar to finish trying to learn (got interrupted by children).


getting a car/motorcycle/side by side/golf cart/boat  

heading back to hometown for a life review and perspective

The emotions are up and down, the focus is foggy, but it helps to think of your life in thirds....

Child - being taken care of, not a lot of power, living in the magical/make believe, practicing life with toys, testing physical limits, daydreaming

Adult - in charge, responsible, compromising, taking care of others, making hard decisions, developing support, building an empire of sorts

Retiree - answer to no one, play, explore, reflect on nostalgia, reawaken the child, settle past disputes for peace, explore, mentor, volunteer

Such a huge transition from the 20s-50s of stress, children, work demands, bills, maintaining - to not being on vigilent mode any longer, is bizarre. It's very easy to get into nitpicking the home, the tiny details, every symptom of your health, family members' situations.

Try not to get refined to a narrow vision of just watching news and getting worked up or focusing on something to distract you to the point you are obsessing. These are just the mind's methods of trying to find a new focus as it's not used to having open days and no urgent matters.

They talk about this time as a second childhood for a reason. When you have summer break and can rule your days and activities, you may want to go play with friends, travel, start a new project.

As I get closer to retirement time, I am reassessing all the dreams I had before marriage, kid, work, life got in the way. 

I noticed my obsession with tiny living and videos on the lifestyle. I had always dreamed of not living in a tract house, but something odd, something quirky, maybe something small so I can just go do what I want. 

The estate I grew up on, we had two cottages. When kids got to be 16, if they had a job for food, they could live in one. It was a transition. We moved away to Arizona when I was turning 15. I never got a cottage and since then, I dreamed about having a tiny place of my own.

Here I am in a situation where I am selling the tract house and my first thought was - tiny living. Well, Phoenix area isn't screaming with new tiny home developments, so I chose the old-fashioned tiny living - a mobile home. It's something I can care for easily so I can focus on the new phase of my life as a writer/artist/creator. I can come and go without worrying about a big place and lots of things people could steal. 

But the really fun part of this life change is I finally get my "cottage." 

I always wanted to play hand pan drum, so I am going to get one and start using it in conjunection with meditation, yoga, oil painting, writing scripts. I am working to fulfill the talents I had that were considered "frivilous" and not "career-oriented." 

It helps to manifest how you see these years. I'd like to be a long-haired bohemian grandma with my own way of dressing, hair weaved with loose braids, beads, maybe some pink or purple hair coloring underneath, expanding the tattoo on my shoulder to include more aspects of my life or seasons - maybe a blue crab, a sunflower, a snowflake.

How cool is it that you don't need to wear corporate clothes or uniforms anymore? Maybe you take up wine tasting lessons or go to farmer's markets. Maybe you visit museums and attend plays. Maybe you get a dirt bike and take off through the back country or steer an RV to a state you've never seen before.

Dumping conventions is a difficult task. It sounds like a great relief, and it can be, but it also means losing some of your concepts of where grandma lives or what grandpa does. 

We're told what we need to achieve to have home, family, and career, but we aren't told how to live outside the box. What if grandpa is on the road and has no permanent address? What if grandma moves to Greece and opens a B&B?

You will find the retirees who took up a new skill or travel, who volunteer or build off-grid compounds. These are exciting folks to associate with because too many times, a retired husband becomes an intruder in his wife's home, nitpicking, bored, getting underfoot, and grating on each other's nerves. 

Manifesting a new life is an exciting thing. Whether you gather together notes or Pinterest pics to visualize it, get down to the details. 

How do you spend your days? 
What are your priorities? 
What do you want to accomplish? 
What do you want to never have to do again? 
Who do you want to do this with? 
What unfinished projects can you reopen? 
What talents did you want to explore?
What kind of new friends do you want?
What hobby did you give up long ago? Where do you want to be? 
What do you want to look like? 
What do you want to accomplish?

Then, think about - what priorities are you getting rid of and what priorities do you want to bring on board? 

These are exciting times - reinvent yourself or simply refind/reclaim yourself!