The Rhythm of Retirement

Some beliefs:  I believe setting goals for first year retirement is very important as doing so is evidence of self-direction and provides purpose, process, and production.  I believe there are a number of stages within the retirement phase of life.  I believe the very first stage of retirement is long before retirement actually begins.  I might call it the ‘Preparation Stage’.  These beliefs are firming up in my mind.

Setting  personal goals in general, has always been quite easy for me.  Could be because of my experience in doing so over a lifetime of summer vacations, months which I needed to feel fulfilled one way or another or could be because I was very prepared emotionally to take the leap into retirement or maybe it is because goal setting comes second nature as it is simply who I am, a self-driven independent person.  But, simply saying you are going to do something is not enough, even in this early ‘Productivity Stage’.

Now, comes the ‘stick-to-those goals and see what you are made of’ part.  It’s been near four months, now since I’ve said good-bye to a life and life style I knew and loved.  I find myself asking these questions:  What have I observed in this new state?  How do I feel?

So, much like the process of eavesdropping on initial thoughts of my transition written about here and after I’ve written and posted goals for first year here , I’ve taken up researching on when and how I am accomplishing what I’ve said I would.

I’ve been peaking specifically on how I’ve been moving through my day and weeks for the purpose of intentional scheduling.  I’ve again allowed the flow of life to happen organically.  The reason why I believe a schedule is so important is that it adds a rhythm to life for best performance of what you hope or wish to accomplish.  Think heart beat, balance of nature, the way the Earth rotates and revolves… all have a rhythm or pattern.  Since so much, well everything is new to me, the freedom, the space, the time, my immediate observation is I’ve wanted to keep some familiarity in my life,  like I needed some sort of comfort blanket to hang on to while traveling through this new domain.

Here is a recap of the last four months and thoughts:

All of our (hubby and me) walking, running, and biking has been happening in the morning.  Before the noon hour.  We have said, “If it doesn’t happen in the morning, it isn’t going to happen at all.”   This has been the most difficult part of the day AND the most enjoyable.  Difficult because it takes the most self motivation  for us to push ourselves physically and the most enjoyable for me as it is with hubby.   Somehow, these mornings have reminded me of classroom mornings.

I have been planning my knitting, reading, and writing in the afternoons.  It has been the perfect follow-up to the mornings.  These activities have captured my attention and has allowed thinking to happen.  Probably due to the physical activity we just had!  Seems like a parallel to teaching and learning with a day unfolding.

When I was employed, I would come home to hubby and our pooch.  Lizzie was always up for a wrestle (such a great stress reliever), a run in the yard, a walk around the block.  So, again leaning on familiarity of a past schedule (and a wagging tail) I have been continuing with this part of the day as previously established.

happy and ready for her walk
happy and ready for her walk

Knitting has been especially relaxing in the evening.  And, I revel in the hours that I no longer have homework!  Dinner, after the day’s activities, TV, mostly CNN is on quietly, the evening has become the perfect time to pick up my needles.

Housework, dinner preparation, baking, yard work get sandwiched in there somewhere but has not been the focal point of any day.  An hour here or there seems to be sufficient to do those ‘necessary’ things.  Dates with friends aka historic tours, lunches, out-of-town visits to see children or otherwise also come along organically and I remain open and flexible to changing up my day(s) according to those family and friend opportunities.

In the Buffalo River and City Ship Canal viewing the amazing silos...
In the Buffalo River and City Ship Canal viewing the amazing silos…

Then, I realized in the researching of a schedule, I already had one!  No planning, rather a natural progression, a rhythm similar to what has carried me through time.  Leaning on something familiar has given guidance to the unfamiliar.  Needs are being addressed, body and mind being challenged, stress relievers and relaxing are all in place.  And, when I go back in my blog to revisit my goals, I find myself thinking, I’m right on track.   Think I’ll proceed!

2 thoughts on “The Rhythm of Retirement

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