Facing Retirement – What Treasure Will You Take With You On The Journey?
Does the thought of retirement fill you with excitement and anticipation or do you dread the idea of giving up your job?
Have you recently retired and found the transition difficult?
Retirement can be a fearful time for many – it’s one of those “Crossroads moments” when you don’t know what’s ahead you just know that you can’t go back.
A lot of the advice that seems to be available, relates to financial security and health. From our experience, from running retreats and online courses for people at key transition points, we’ve found these are not usually the biggest concerns. The issues are more often linked to an individual’s self-worth and identity that can get lost when you stop working.
One of the first things we recommend, is that you assess what you have done in your work life to date. What things did you love doing? What environments did you thrive in? What did people come to you for and value from the contribution you made? Do you see a pattern in the responses? Perhaps ask your colleagues, friends or family members what they appreciate about the things you do. What things do you love to do in your spare time? Again, look for common themes? There usually are some. The answers will remind you of the things you have achieved…; the high points of your career…; the impact you have had on the people you worked with and for…
These are like pieces of treasure that you want to hold on to and take with you into retirement, or into further paid or voluntary work. You will no doubt have had your low points too – things you didn’t enjoy about your work, the monotony, the frustrations, the disappointments, the stress, and sometimes even the culture in your workplace… That’s the rubbish that needs throwing away or leaving behind in your past and not dwelling on any further – except to the extent that those things may point you more clearly to the things you love to do and the things that are important to you. Try it! You’ll surprise yourself at how big the pile of treasure is and how small the pile of rubbish is.
Someone once suggested to me that there is no such thing as retirement – it is really re-tyrement! To put on new and different ‘tyres’, in order to continue to be active in fulfilling your purposes and serving others. Look again at the treasure you identified. How could you use it to help others and bring fulfilment to the rest of your life?
If you’d like some help with exploring that question more fully, a guided retreat might be a good fit for you. You’ll find more information here or if you’d prefer, you can get in touch with us to discuss here.
One of our recent participants wrote: “I completed a Crossroads retreat two months ago when I needed to take a step back and look at where I am and where I needed to go from here. I was approaching retirement with some trepidation, having been working as a professional in a local authority for many years. The retreat guides were relaxed, competent and professional and led the sessions, exercises and discussion with easy confidence which encouraged us all to feel safe to tell our stories and speak about our fears and anxieties. Some of the exercises were challenging, but in a proudly safe and helpful way, and I learned from them that I have a lot still to offer and sufficient resources of character and will to succeed in a strange, scary but exciting new world of retirement.”