You’ve given a majority of your life to your career, and now that you’re retiring, you may feel a little off balance or lost, and are wondering what comes next.
While it’s important to take time for yourself, and you may be enjoying less busy and less stress filled days, it’s also important to find meaning and purpose for this new season of your life. If you feel that your meaning and purpose was previously tied to your career, you may be sensing a void and looking to fill it.
Look back, then forward
Spend some time taking a deeper look at your life. While reflecting on your pre-retirement life, you may discover there were things you wanted to do but never did because you assumed there would be plenty of time to do it later. Well, now is later.
Then, visualize your future. You’re circumstances and priorities in life have likely changed. Your house may be paid off. People come and go from our lives and you may find that you have more friends, or fewer. Your children are grown and out of the house, but you now have grandchildren. Spend time noting what you have right now and try to determine what you want this next chapter of your life to look like.
Do what makes you happy
Raising a family and having a career has likely put a few of your dreams on the back burner over the years. Whether you’ve wanted to take a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon, learn to play the drums or re-learn the piano, do your first 5K, dine out at all of Chef Ramsey’s restaurants, or read all of Edgar Allan Poe’s poems—just do it!
If binge watching Downton Abbey in your Barcalounger is your thing – do that too (just remember to get up every now and then to get your circulation going!). Your retirement years can be the perfect time to focus on yourself, your health, and your happiness. Do what is meaningful to you.
Repair, restore, and renew relationships
Many people find that their relationship with God, family, and friends is what’s most important in their lives. Maybe your relationship with a parent, sibling or child hasn’t been all it could be, and you can make it a priority to build a closer connection with them once again. Maybe you’d like to spend more time with friends who you have lost touch with, or make new ones. Maybe you’d like to dedicate more time and focus on gaining a closer connection with God. The more meaningful your relationships are, the more fulfilling and gratifying your retirement years will be.
Doing for others is not only great for the person you’re helping but it’s great for you too. Using your skill and expertise in some way to help others can be very rewarding.
Consider volunteering at your church or a local charity. Maybe spend some time with the grandkids to give your children a break. Take up a hobby such as woodworking, painting, knitting, or quilting where you can give your work as a gift to a family member or friend. Or even donate to a charity, church, or shelter. Maybe you love DIY projects and would like to work at Home Depot. The possibilities of doing good and feeling good are endless.
Through reflection, prayer, planning, and setting goals for yourself, you can create a greater sense of meaning and purpose in your life and enjoy your retirement years to the fullest.
If you find yourself struggling after retirement, please reach out to us at Spiritual Care Support Ministries. To learn more about personal loss and how we can help, we invite you to contact us at 540-349-5814 today.