The idea of living without the bells that tightly structured my life for so many years filled a daydream or two. How free I would surely feel, going and doing, or not going and doing, following my heart’s longings and my mind’s tuggings!
A gal pal of mine asked my advice for a summer sabbatical in her future. I can always spout off info I have read so I did just that, based on the printed word, not my experiences. For some reason she thinks I do it well.
Total lack of structure isn’t quite as liberating as it might first seem. Procrastination is my middle name, but, in the complete void of deadlines, procrastination can disappear into the black hole of nothingness. Some tasks/plans never materialize without an endpoint in the process.
So what am I learning about retirement from its midst? For me, it is a batter of routine, flexibility, passion and discovery, with added pinches of mystery and surprise to ward off hints of boredom.
Routines promote health by allowing time for rest and nourishment and giving a sense of stability. Otherwise, with all the flexibility at their fingertips, retirees might seem irresponsible going hither and yon anytime, involved in formerly neglected beloved activities and experimenting with the unfamiliar.
What-ifs can become why-nots. Skills and talents can develop into passions. Discovery can invite adventure. Never-ending to-do lists can suffocate it all, tempting us to postpone life until… Perhaps the key to embracing retirement is embracing balance.