Retirement: a major life transition that keeps on changing and giving.
Are you retired or are you just entering this period of major life transition? Regardless of your retirement stage, your needs and goals may change more frequently than you first anticipated.
Many early retirees find satisfaction in having time to clean out the garage, basement and all the cabinets in the house. However, that satisfaction doesn’t last forever. Hopefully, such goals are accomplished quickly and we move on to more exciting activities. But then—the questions begin.
It May Be time for decisions in your major life transition
What activities should you pursue? What goals or activities would mean the most to you? How will you achieve your desires. It’s never too late —or too early—to ask yourself these important questions. It’s also healthy to ask such questions of yourself at various retirement life stages. Our goals and needs may change so we need to give ourselves the freedom to change our priorities.
Why do goals and needs change in retirement?
After several months of cleaning basements and other obscure crevices in our homes, the work, hopefully, has been accomplished. If not, it may be that we just need a break from tedious labor or difficult decisions. We can always go back to it when the mood strikes. I know it seems that I’ve been cleaning out my office for three years now. Over time, I’ve made progress, but the bookcases still need severe pruning. And, right now, it’s more pleasant to be outside pruning trees, bushes and perennial plants.
My thoughts on the need to change goals at various times in retirement came from an article by Robert Laura, a retirement advisor. He compares retirement to getting caught in a rip current while swimming. Laura stresses that the natural reaction when caught in a rip tide is to try and swim against the strong current—and that never works.
Just as in swimming, retirement “rip currents” can drag people away from desired goals and we may feel pulled in a variety of directions. When that happens, we may fight against the changes we need to make. Sometimes negative thoughts and feelings make it feel as if we are being dragged into harmful situations.
What Are Your Riptides?
Do you have thoughts, actions or situations that are dragging you down? If so, you owe it to yourself to reflect on what you need and how you can change your current situation. Even when in the midst of true struggles, we are still the creators of our reality. What can you say or do for yourself that will help ease those struggles or complaints? Knowing those answers, can make it possible to reach out to others to get the support or help you need.
I also hope you’ll take the time to read Laura’s article as well as other articles in Survive on creating happiness in retirment. You might find them quite helpful.
Wishing you a happy, healthy retirement!