This past Sunday, April 9th marked the two year anniversary of my retirement. Boy does time fly!
As I hit that milestone and ask myself how well I am doing in retirement, I find that I am struggling with an interesting question. Do I need to discover and define my purpose in life in this new season OR is my purpose simply to enjoy my retirement years?
In these past two years, I have been searching for a mission, discovery of what inspires me, what gets me out of bed each morning. Truthfully, I don’t know if I am any closer to this discovery than when I began.
Most of my friends are all retired at this point. I don’t know of any who have either searched for or found a defining new purpose for their life in their retirement years. Without exception from the outside looking in, it simply seems that for all of them their purpose is to enjoy their retirement. I see nothing wrong with that, don’t misunderstand. Most everyone certainly earns their retirement, and the right to do it as they see fit.
My friends, as well as most everyone else I read about in retirement, are all staying active first and foremost. More specifically, their days and weeks are filled with travel, fitness (usually at the gym), golf (mostly a male thing), reading, and for some, volunteering. The other focus of most retirements I’m familiar with is relationships. Retirees enjoy the ability to invest more time into their relationships both with family and friends. Put all of this together in some combination and retirement seems to be working very well and is being enjoyed by those whom I know. Personally my retirement is comprised of the same elements: relationships, exercise, reading, and travel. I’m enjoying retirement much of the time, but I feel my retirement is a bit incomplete. This explains why I have been involved in some introspection looking for what inspires me. It also partially explains why I have entertained the idea of finding a part-time position in the workforce.
When I began this blog I commented that I was entering my retirement without a plan, but that I hoped to come up with a plan for making my retirement the best season of my life. I also said that it would probably take me three years to figure it all out. So I feel that I’m right on schedule.
Thus, in year three of my retirement I’m going to continue to try to identify where my true passion lies. I will be patient. But failing that, I will redirect my focus to just enjoying a Lemonade Retirement, as my friends all seem to be doing!
Actually, I think my friends may all have the right idea – first, enjoy every day of the gift which is retirement. Why? Because just this week alone I learned that two of my friends who I haven’t seen or heard from lately are battling a very serious heart issue and lung cancer. Another close friend has been diagnosed with leukemia this week. And finally an acquaintance who got the school bus at my stop passed away at 69. Every day we and our family have our health is a blessed day, another day in our retirement to be thankful for.
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Folks, if you have been reading this blog for one month or 13½ months (the whole time), I want to thank you. This will be my last post, I am stepping away from the blog at this time. To be totally upfront, the blog simply has not gained the traction I had hoped for. My lack of social media skills was a significant contributing factor. But I’m sure the copy could have been more interesting as well.
Thanks for reading! Have a Lemonade Retirement and be healthy!