Retirementhood: Next Exit
Is your blinker on? Or have you already taken the exit?
Where and what the heck is Retirementhood?
We travel through different “hoods” during our lifetime: Childhood, Tweenhood, Young Adulthood, Older Adulthood, Parenthood, Grandparenthood, and so on.
Entering each “hood” takes us to a new phase in life with new experiences and opportunities to grow, mature, and enhance our lives. Each phase also brings its challenges and uncertainties.
Exiting from career and entering Retirementhood is no different. It is much more than being the center of attention at a retirement party or taking a retirement cruise! It’s not simply an event.
After entering Retirementhood, we may travel through four different communities.
The first may be Honeymoon Beach, an exciting place we have planned for and can’t wait to get to and bask in its glory! Or it may be Pity City Park because, for one reason or another, we are not happy about retiring. Depending upon how we adapt to change and our level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction, we may speed through, proceed with caution, or get stuck and need help moving on.
The next community? Now What?Crossing. Here we must focus on and plan for things that give us reasons to get out of bed every morning. What will we do to live a life that is meaningful and has purpose?
From there, we will enter the New Normal Estates where we will carry out the plans made in Now What?Crossing. We have a new identity and we will think less about who and where we were before retiring.
Traveling through Retirementhood, we may have green lights for miles and then hit red lights, speed bumps and even a pothole. Might we need to make a U-Turn? Yes.
As we learn about or think about new opportunities, it’s not unusual to travel back and forth between Now What?Crossing and the New Normal Estates. That’s OK. We won’t be given a citation!
What’s important is to know that the journey to The New Normal Estates is a process, not an event. Enjoy the journey!