With four days left at work, I find myself oscillating between excitement, trepidation and a wee bit of fear of the unknown. Surprisingly, there is a slight sense of loss, as I start racking up the “lasts”… last board meeting, last budget meeting, last happy hour meeting with colleague and my team. It occurred to me that this sense of grief must not be uncommon and it is interesting similar to how one feels anytime one loses someone or something dear to them.
Best I can tell with my limited experience, retirement is a life transition process and not a single event. It is not an end so much as it is a phase change. As is the case with any other major life transitions, retirement requires that you adapt and grow. Keeping this in mind makes me feel better and almost normal – Yay!!
I am curious how Wally and I will adapt and grow. Hoping I won’t feel like putting a pillow over his head while he sleeps after a few months! Yikes, it could be the other way around ?? But seriously, what style or path will we take – Honeymooners, Routiners or Relaxers???
Honeymooners feel and act as though they are on an indefinite vacation. They are happy with their decision to retire and throw themselves whole-heartedly into leisure activities that they have always wanted to undertake but never before had the time to do. They may take up new hobbies and interests or become world travelers who seek to visit all the places they have heard about in the past.
Routiners are typically ambivalent about retirement. While they may enjoy the prospect of not working anymore, they find the lack of structure in their lives to be intimidating. These people find ways to create a substitute daily routine and structure for themselves and then go about the process of sticking to that new routine. They may immerse themselves in new activities and interests, but there will be an element of “keeping busy” to these involvements.
Relaxers seek a path of less activity and more rest and relaxation. These people may have felt burned out from years of working or generally exhausted from their previously busy schedules. Their first order of business for retirement then is to rest and recharge. Relaxers generally do not remain relaxed and laid back for the duration of their retirements. As they get used to retirement and have had time to recharge themselves they will typically seek out new activities and commitments.
I suspect there will be phases of all three of these styles as we transition into retirement and I am here to tell you that I am committed to finding out more, so stay tuned!!