I’m a Boomer woman who took The Retirement Leap, leaving a career behind to embrace life after work. I’ve talked with many Boomer women who are doing the same.
We know how lucky we are; not everyone is in a position to exit full-time work. And we’re calling “retirement” by different names these days as we define it for ourselves. We’re not going the way our parents did during this stage of life.
But some things don’t change, including the questions that newly retired women often hear. These three in particular can be too much to ask.
The Social Self wants to answer appropriately. Explain that we’ve started writing that novel or solving the world’s problems. Or that we’ve turned the wall we tore down in the living room into a dining room table. Meaningful activities.
The True Self realizes that, being newly retired, we don’t always know what we do all day. We know time passes. We know we make lists of things we want to accomplish.
But the newly retired are forging a new relationship with Time. We may go for hours (or days) without looking at a clock. We sleep when we’re tired, eat when we’re hungry, exercise when the spirit moves us… much like the family dog.
We’re reconsidering what it means to “accomplish” something. Whether accomplishing something is something to aspire to.
Simply put, most days we do what we choose. Hopefully to our betterment. Often while in our pajamas. And it feels great!
We’re able to tell you that. But give you a lot of details? Not so much.
Well-meaning friends, loving family members, or well-intentioned former colleagues can be eager to help us plan our days. We might be asked to volunteer, join a Board of Directors, babysit, run errands, care for a pet. Take on a new job. Sign on to a new project.
In fairness, people come from a good place. They may really need us. Or they may worry we’re bored. They could be right. But this early into retirement, we may not be ready to jump into the next thing. We’re still letting go of the last thing.
And we may very well choose to do any number of things we’re asked to consider. But we’d like that to be our idea, when we’re ready, in our own time.
So, thank you for the suggestions. We’ll get back to you.
Newly retired Boomers are on a honeymoon with their lifestyle. Relishing in freedom from structure, alarm clocks, and the confines of jobs we were devoted to for a long time. This honeymoon can last weeks, months, or longer.
There’s a lot we know in this phase of retirement and a lot we don’t know.
We know we have our health, but we’re never guaranteed how long that will last. We’ve tried to plan for financial peace of mind, and we hope we’ve done enough. Otherwise the possibilities stretch before us. A buffet of options… some worth sampling, others worth gobbling, many not worth tasting.
A newly retired Boomer woman’s what’s next might be the Top 10 Dreams she’s hoping retirement will hold. Things she’s waited until now to do, places she’s waited until now to visit, activities she had to put on hold in 2020.
Some of us mapped out our retired life beyond that. We’re sinking our teeth into something new.
Most of us figure out “the big picture” as we go. Our futures look a little fuzzy. That happens on a honeymoon when you’re in the moment and taking life as it comes.
So telling you what’s next is tricky. When we know, you’ll know.
Newly retired Boomer women do know we’re fortunate to be in the position to have chosen a retired life. As we grow into it, we get more comfortable with questions. More sure about our answers.
In the meantime, forgive us if we can’t respond to a few seemingly simple inquiries. We know that not knowing is part of the journey. And part of the fun.
Have you been asked some difficult questions since retiring? Are any of them too much to ask? What questions do you hear on repeat? How do you respond? Please join the conversation!