Is There Life After Retirement?

Archive for November 2020

So here’s another thing about retirement and radical relocation during a pandemic:

For nearly 50 years, I have been very career and avocation forward focused. That’s a lot of movement buildup! Under normal circumstances, I would channel all that momentum into starting the next phase of my life. I would investigate the area, make new friends, join new groups, etc. But – as is true for all of us – there are few “normal circumstances” in 2020. So I’ve tried to channel that energy into fixing up my new home, endless meetings and classes via Zoom and miles of furious pedaling into nowhere on our gym’s recumbent bike.

That’s been good to a point. But lately it’s felt less like starting a new life and more like chasing my damn tail. Under the best of circumstances, I would miss the structure of my 30+ years of living a life on Maui. But during this crazy assed year, it was becoming almost unbearable.

I thought I needed big adventures, new people, new stuff and the Marc Cohen concert I’d had tickets for since last year. I didn’t think I wanted or needed a phase of quiet and solitary time to reflect. But – like everyone – what I wanted and what I got were two different things.

However, yesterday morning I had a series of texts with a friend “back home on Maui.” While I whined my friend sent upbeat, positive reminders that there’s always good stuff, but sometimes we simply have to reframe our thinking (my words, not his, but that’s what I got from it).

Wow. It finally sunk in. So I regrouped.

By yesterday evening, my perspective had shifted. This year did not turn out how ANY of us expected our year to proceed. So what do we do about it?

pivot: the central point, pin, or shaft on which a mechanism turns or oscillates

Oxford Languages

Ah, yes, that’s it! It’s up to us, as individuals, to learn to pivot. Or not. Totally our choice.

But for me, it can’t be simply “well, I’ll accept things for what they are” and to let it go at that. I want this craziness to take me someplace better. Not sure exactly what all that means, but one part is to focus on that “habitual forward motion energy” phenomenon I mentioned in the beginning. I’m looking for how to channel it into good stuff (omg, I remember now – I’m a good cook!) but also into letting the energy dissipate a just a little. Kind of like letting a little air out of an overinflated tire. Finding the balance. For example: Upon retirement, I decide I AM GOING TO WRITE. I’ve been mentally obsessed with what I’ll write, when I’ll write it, how, etc. I even have my crazy book idea. But so far … not much writing. I have a little ‘critical parent’ in the back of my brain, continually frowning at me – arms folded and foot tapping – for not following through. But in this new mindset, I just turned around told her to get lost. And poof! She’s gone. Now I think I’ll put on some Grover Washington Jr, have my breakfast and read a fluff book. Oh and look … I’m writing. Funny how that works.

Yeah, I CHOOSE to get really good at the pivot. How about you?