I recently read an article in US News and World Review by Dave Bernard that offers a remedy for the symptoms many of my retired friends call over involvement. Bernard states that, “It is up to each of us individually to assume responsibility for creating the retirement we want. Insight into what is ahead can help ease the transition. But it is also important to savor the retirement you have earned.” He suggests that retirees go easy on themselves when they begin this new stage of life and not be pressured into activities that don’t satisfy their particular needs simply because it appears they have the time to do that project or activity.
This seems like words of wisdom for both new retiree and their spouses. I often hear wives, in particular, say, “He doesn’t do anything all day. I don’t know how he stands it.” or “ I wish he’d get started on rebuilding the porch. He promised he’d do it once he retired.” Maybe it’s not such a bad thing––at least for awhile––to reflect on how he really wants to spend this gift of time. If a husband really enjoys remodeling projects, it will be good for him to get to that porch at some point, but first he may need to plan it in his mind––or maybe he just needs to plan his life.
From all I’ve read and conversations I’ve had, women often seem to hit the retirement road running to all kinds of projects and volunteer experience they couldn’t do before. For some this is great, because it feels good to check off that to do list, but if retirement is starting to feel like another job, it may be wise to rethink that process. Maybe we should consider the fact that retirement is well earned, and the best way to savor it is to first consider our needs and plan it well.
Happy planning. Now is as good a time as ever to decide what’s important for each of us and how we will enjoy your own activities as well as time together. Just in case you’re still looking for things to do, you might take a look at another article on things to do in retirement!
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