Retirement is full of promise. We begin with lists, plans, goals… everything we’ve been waiting to do. And off we go!
Then, somewhere along the line, we stall. Or we plateau. Boxes have been checked off. Goals have been met. Inertia sets in.
Or maybe that’s just me? I’m guessing maybe not. We don’t talk a lot about feeling stuck during retirement, but it can certainly happen.
If we’re relatively healthy, we come to realize that retirement has long legs. There’s a lot of retired life to live. So, it’s not surprising that, once the initial bloom of retirement is past, we can reach a point where we start to level off.
This can be slightly baffling and even unsettling. We carry on lest we appear ungrateful (which we’re definitely not). Still, we’re slightly less than… gung ho.
We yearn for inspiration and an old-fashioned jumpstart, which these four suggestions can supply.
Every jumpstart needs a focus. Don’t dance around what’s at the heart of your dissatisfaction.
Consider what’s working for you… and be honest about what isn’t. List 10 things about your retired life that you truly love. Then list 10 things you absolutely want to change.
Do one of the things you love.
Take one small step toward making one change.
Repeat as you can.
If you can’t dream it, it will never happen. So, we need to let our wildest dreams have some airtime, which can be energizing and just plain fun!
Close your eyes, make a wish, and write that down. Do this five times. No one’s watching; you’re not being graded. Make a few wild wishes and catch a few daring dreams. The sky’s the limit!
If you have trouble opening your mind or heart to this exercise, think back to what you dreamed as a child. There’s information waiting for you there.
Watch for synchronicities or subtle signs that one of your wishes may be a hot track for you to follow. Act on whatever feels right.
If you’ve already found it, I salute you!
If you’re like a lot of us, finding our passion feels a bit daunting. It feels like a big job and a potential obstacle to jumpstarting. So, consider cultivating your curiosity instead.
Have you ever been on the computer and gone down a rabbit hole, clicking on links that have nothing to do with why you opened Google in the first place? That’s just one example of how our curiosity can grab us.
Make a list of 10 things you’d like to know more about. Bonus points if they have anything to do with your wishes and dreams. You’re already moving into second gear!
Choose one thing from your list and dive deeper. Notice if you lose track of time as you do. That’s a good thing.
Don’t be frustrated if these three calls to action fail to jumpstart you. We’re conditioned to “do,” and taking action feels very rewarding. But we often just need to be where we are and not do anything.
There’s an inner work to aging that can’t be denied. We must go with that flow.
After years of marching forward, it’s necessary to take time to rest, watch and wait. Spend time outdoors. Cultivate a spiritual practice or any activity that puts you in touch with your wise inner self.
As uncomfortable as the quiet might feel, leaning into it is a necessary component of new beginnings. And a good way to prepare for a jumpstart. Your next steps will be revealed in their own time.
So, take a breath and start when you’re ready. May the next stage of your retired life be the best chapter yet!
Has your retired life ever needed a jumpstart? What did you do to find new inspiration? Let’s have a conversation!