How to Retire: Who you are? Vs. What you do?
One of the most difficult things for anyone to do as they are preparing for retirement is to start looking at their world with a much broader lens than just work. Now having said that, this is not necessarily the case for everyone in Calgary as some people have the whole work thing in check and really work to make money to enjoy the things that are really important to them. The first question that usually comes out when you meet someone for the first time is what you do and many of us are conditioned into thinking about who we are by describing “what we do”. It makes sense that a lot of people equate value in life with the status and productivity of our jobs and with the creation of wealth and the accomplishment of living the Canadian dream with all of its trappings but the true essence of who we are is found beyond this and retirement is the time when this really starts to stare back at you.
Retirement transition or any type of transition for that matter is a time of self-reflection and honesty what is important to us as individuals. Our traditional work day uses up one-third of our day that is if we are working the traditional 8 hour work day, add an additional 6-8 hours of your day for sleep and then add all of your other commitments outside of work that doesn’t leave much time to do the things and spend time with the people that nurture your soul. That truth is identifying what is important to us in the activities we do, the relationships we enjoy and the things we value and provide us with a sense of purpose and eventually provide us with meaning in our lives.
The Norman Rockwell illustration that shows Rockwell himself looking in the mirror as he is painting his portrait really illustrates the crossroads that retirement presents to people to identify and paint the picture of the retirement life they want. Retirement is a new start. Dr. Richard Johnson coined the phrase the New Retirement to mean that retirement is a time to re-energize, revitalize and to recreate your life by starting with an honest reflection of who you far beyond what you do for a living. If you are contemplating your retirement start thinking about the things and the people will nourish your authentic self and truly help you define yourself not by what you did when you worked but by Who You Are!