[Editor’s Note: The following post is from Susan – yes, the very same Susan who is the new woman in my life. Although she is a baby boomer, she is new to the world of baby boomer blogging so please welcome her (and be nice!). For future posts you will know that Susan is the author because her name will appear in the author byline. Thanks and enjoy]
Hi everybody! I’m very pleased to be a new contributor to this site. Thanks to Mark for inviting my perspectives on this journey!
Retirement!?! Really?! Mark has been contemplating this journey far longer than I. Although an avid saver, I only recently allowed myself to consider what life in retirement might look like.
First of all, I had thought, I don’t feel old enough to retire, and I sure hoped I didn’t look old enough! At least those were my perceptions of retirement: old, slower, and sitting in a rocking chair staring off into some distant vista. But, based on friends who have taken the happy leap into retirement, my old ideas of what retirement should look and feel like have changed drastically; as I bet they have with many baby boomers! We are a different breed.
Suddenly, my friends who have moved into this phase of life are active, vital, and they sure look young to me! And, they are contributing a lot to the world around them. So, this has begun to challenge my notions of retirement and how I want to prepare for retirement. And, recently Mark has opened my eyes to new possibilities.
A few years ago I drastically changed how I work. I took a big leap and, with decades of experiences and lessons learned in my profession, I started a consulting practice. At the time, I didn’t make this change with the idea of retirement in mind. My sons had graduated from college and my financial requirements changed. I’m very entrepreneurial and I decided to pursue a dream.
Although I would never say to my clients that I’m preparing for retirement, I did begin to craft a way of working that has given me a little more control over my life, the way I work, and the way I manage stress. Certainly, working for yourself is not stress free, but in my line of work, it has allowed me to structure my time other than the typical 8-5 (or 6 or 7 or 8….) workday. So, sometimes now I “sneak in” a yoga class in the middle of the day, run off to spend a little time with my grandson, or just take the dogs for a walk with Mark before jumping back into a project for a client.
Sure, if several demanding projects hit all at once, that flexibility flies out the window. But. regardless, there is definitely a new rhythm to life.
Little did I know, as I was changing the way I work, I was also giving myself an opportunity to take a glimpse at how I may structure my time when I’m no longer working or as I wind down! As a former musician, I know that lots of practice is critical and the right kind of practice pays off. Although an unintended consequence, while I’m working now I’m also finding ways to practice new rhythms in living. I hope to be even better at it in the future.
So, I’m wondering, are you re-designing your life as you practice for retirement? It would be fun to hear what you’re doing! Let us know!
[Editor’s Note: If “re-designing your life” sounds familiar, it may be because I wrote about it an earlier post about setting life priorities.]