I have decided to close my coaching practice, but am leaving this site up in hope that the resources will help you in your post-career quest for a fun, connected, and purposeful life.
Did I say post-career? In the 10 years since I retired from my full-time career I served on a local educational non-profit board, learned to create websites, became a certified coach and retreat leader, led retreats, got married, officiated my step-daughter's wedding, became a home caretaker for my father, managed the estate of my father, became a grandmother 3 times, and took over the family hardware store business. Oh, and survived a pandemic and a decidedly rightward-turn in our democracy.
Wherever you are in your retirement journey, one thing I can tell you for sure: your life will not be dull unless you want it that way.
May your curiosity, adaptability, heart, and good sense serve you well on your journey.
A bit about my retirement journey. It may help to realize you're not alone.
I quickly learned that retirement is a massive life transition that I just wasn't prepared for. I had the money piece figured out, but I hadn't appreciated how much meaning and social connection my job gave me. I didn't anticipate the effort that would be required to re-create these on my own.
My life purpose had come so easily when I was working. I showed up to work and my job gave me everything: it gave me my schedule, my wonderful colleagues, the opportunity to use my noggin, and the conviction that I was doing good and worthy work.
Now I had to reconstruct my social network, my wellness routine, and my purpose. I needed reasons to get out of bed in the morning. I kept searching for what I should DO. I volunteered, became a board member, did some consulting, and developed plans for businesses that never launched. I helped out friends and family. I had time to be more present for them. I was more relaxed. That felt great.
But I still couldn’t find what I was looking for. I wanted my go-getting mojo back.
Finally one day everything clicked. I realized that purpose wasn’t a job title.
It’s a feeling.
It’s the texture of life.
It comes from living all the areas of my life from a deep sense of who I am and what I am here to do.
It comes through living our values, each and every day.
What am I going to stop doing?
Making myself small.
Apologizing for being an older woman.
Assuming my money will run out, my older body isn't sexy, my brain is mush, my presence is irrelevant; my identity as a useful, purposeful member of society is over.
I don't believe . . .
that life goes downhill after 60;
that filling the days with random activities is enough;
that life changes once, then stays that way;
that we suddenly turn stupid at 60;
that old dogs can't learn new tricks;
that getting older is about losing control.
I don't believe in waiting for "real life" to happen later, down the road.
Real life is now. Let it begin.