Jun 3, 2014

Do You See Retirement in Black and White?

I prefer life in blazing color!
I don't know if you have heard of Lisa Heffernan or not but she is the mother that admitted that she wished she had never given up her job to stay at home with her 3 children. Life passed her by (she thinks) and now she is finding that she cannot pick up where she left off 15 years ago. 

She saw it as a black and white issue...either you work or you don't. She appeared on the Today show and wrote articles for major newspapers on the subject. I could see how some of her experiences were relevant to the new retiree. After all there are always some retirees that regret retiring. They don't see the shades of gray between working and not working.

Like Heffernan, I chose to be a stay at home mom when my children were very small. I never regretted doing what I did back all those years ago.  In fact, there was a lesson I took away from that experience that has been a great help for me in this third stage of my life.

Back when I was young, I learned that life was never all or nothing.

Flexibility...the key element for successful retirement!

Of course there are patterns that almost all retiree follow and I have written about those in former posts. It is an interesting phenomena.

They talk about travel or gardening or quilting. Many, many will see retirement as a very small place and they want to downsize and live all on one level in case they get old really soon. A few will want to sell their home and plan on spending the rest of their days in an RV wandering from here to there. Others see nothing...just empty endless days with nothing to do. I understand all those things because my husband and I had the same ideas.

But, the thing that my husband and I did not do was think that anything we chose to do was forever. We never have had a "forever house" or gotten rid of our personal possessions and left our old life behind. We are always open to new experience but remain grounded.

I did not "quit working", I just quit working for money. In retirement, I have taken up some "hobbies" that fill my extra time and I have gained energy and satisfaction as well as some validation from those pursuits. It is never all or nothing! Being willing to move on and change has made retirement a wonderful stage in my life.

It is just a thought!

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3 comments:

  1. I quit working for money, too, and am as busy as I want to be. I volunteer as a mediator in my community and pursue my hobbies and travel. It's all good!

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  2. I agree...flexibility is key to my contentment in retirement, as it was in my earlier years. Staying flexible and choosing to be grateful (even when times are tough, there's always something for which to be thankful), are traits that I appreciate most in others, so I'm trying to cultivate them in myself! Pam

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  3. I love the idea that retiree see that flexibility can make such a difference in their life. For the first (or fourth, whatever) time in their life they can do what they want and still get paid their retirement. Linda (Bag Lady in Waiting) has a very full life because she is interested in EVERYTHING and love to find the answers.

    Pam, I your answer resonated with me on so many levels. Gratitude needs to be used carefully and if you save it, you will find that it can get you though the most difficult of times.

    Thank you for stopping by.

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