sun setting over the Pacific Ocean

Flickr photo by Nigel Howe

Have you ever talked with a new acquaintance who asked, “What do you do in retirement?” It’s interesting that it’s a question many frequently ask when meeting someone for the first time. Generally speaking, it’s a good ice breaker, a way to find common ground for conversation. However, I’ve begun to see how it can also be an intimating question for some people.

How can this simple inquiry make some people feel uncomfortable? I don’t have all the answers to that question, but it seems one reason for the discomfort is a feeling of guilt.

What Do you Do in Retirement? 

As we grow older we must take better care of our health. It’s beneficial to allow time to slow down to enjoy nature and the people around us. It’s especially important to maintain healthy connections with friends and neighbors so we don’t feel isolated. Nonetheless our society, and most likely our previous work experience, has taught us that we must always be busy accomplishing something.

Yes, goals are important. They give us a sense of purpose and accomplishment and often keep us mentally alert. Nevertheless, time off is an excellent way to stay healthy and mentally alert. Think of how refreshed you feel after a great night of sleep. A similar feeling can occur from simply relaxing. An hour’s stroll in a park on a beautiful day can clear our heads of what worries or annoys us. Or, have you ever sat in your favorite spot and pondered all the good things that have happened in that space?

For most people the marvelously curative effect of the above actions cannot be denied. The body feels more relaxed and the mind is more attuned to the joy in our surroundings.

Give Yourself a Break

How do you feel when you give yourself permission to relax? Before writing this piece my husband and I took an unusually long lunch time and savored the flowers in our backyard. Just that simple choice reminded me it’s good to spend time together without something to do or somewhere to be. Now I ask you, could there be a better thought for cementing a happy retirement relationship? I think not!

If you haven’t already settled in to not feeling guilty when you feel as if you’re wasting time in time retirement, give yourself a break. When are asked what do you do in retirement it’s good to reply what I do in retirement is enjoy life. It’s important to allow ourselves to realize that we haven’t decamped from life. Instead we’ve just changed the way we look at and enjoy life.

How do you relax? What do you do in retiremement to permit yourself to benefit from this new life stage? You worked hard to achieve it—do you allow yourself to enjoy it now?

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Another Way to Relax

Who wouldn’t relax in this backyard ? To view, move the cursor along the bottom bar.