Easing Into Retirement
“God rested and He wasn’t tired” Anonymous
Sometimes change doesn’t come easy for us. Why
I had the decision to make about when to retire from a position I had enjoyed. Big Decision. I had set a date to retire but was forced to retire earlier due to a health condition. Why did it take a health condition to do what I should have done sooner?
I did not retire because I was tired!
By the way, my health has been good since I retired. Now, I’m enjoying a more relaxed time with my wife, my family and my friends.
What stands in the way of making the decision?
How I see our “life cycle”
Our life can be seen as a book with many chapters. Some chapters, good, some, not so good. When one chapter is completed we do not throw away the book, we simply turn the page to find the next chapter. That is exactly what we should do in living each day. Each chapter chronicles the seasons of life and makes our book complete. Each of us has a history, a present and hopefully a future. If you are a Bible reader you know in the book of Ecclesiastes chapter three, we are warned that everything has its time.
Some of my thoughts on retirement.
It’s not about the money!
“There are two ways you can be rich. One is to have all you want, the other is to be satisfied with what you have.” – Unknown
Retirement is more about contentment than the money in the bank.This is having a sense of well-being. Being at peace with oneself.
First, we will be faced with change.
- The day you walk out of the factory, office or other workplace everything changes.
- People you rub shoulders with, you will ‘rub’ no more.
- The daily drive to the workplace is over.
- A whole segment of time, 8 -10 hours daily, now become yours personally to fill.
My position as a pastor on staff overseeing other ministers was rewarding. Though I left my position, my wife and I did not leave the church. We see the same people, but the relationship to them has changed. That is a good change, but it is a change none the less.
How do we bring this sense of contentment, (satisfaction), into our retirement?
- Build your life around your spouse, well-adjusted children leave in adulthood, that’s normal.
- Find ways to enjoy your spouses’ company.
- Keep active in children and grandchildren’s activities.
- Stay involved in church and social activities.
- Continue to develop relationships with friends and neighbors
- Take walks, slow down and enjoy the great outdoors.
- Initiate new pursuits, such as reading books, doing puzzles, sports activities.
- Stay active, don’t succumb to extended sofa time.
- Last, keep a schedule, get up in the morning, afternoon nap time and evening events will keep you more positive focused.
I’m just a ‘newbie’ to this retirement time. Just 2 years deep into the pages of this chapter in my life. I’m loving it! The old saying that; “I’m so busy in retirement, I don’t know how I had the time to go to work” is true for me.
One Thing More
You don’t need a lot of stuff to be happy and contented. So get busy giving stuff away. A reality is that in the future, someone you do not know will drive up your driveway and say; “We’re home”. Another person will turn the lock on your apartment door and claim it as home to them. It is going to happen, we’re only here for a season, someday our book will be finished, last chapter written and the back cover closed. Therefore, enjoy the present, it’s a gift.