Follow the signs

Who knew that driving cross country could provide an illuminating and revelatory topic for a retirement blog? This morning we left our hotel to continue our journey back to Colorado. My husband, Chris, was driving. After picking up a ticket for travel on I-90 he was momentarily bewildered by which road he should take – the one to left or the one to the right. “Follow the signs,” I yelled from the back seat.

Then it struck me. When we are bewildered by life, follow the signs. The third phase of life, commonly called retirement, is often a bewildering experience. We can be confused by the myriad of choices and changes that happen during the transition from working to not working. Yet, there are always signs that can lead us to what we desire. The key is to know where you’re going and what you want.

Many people I have interviewed or coached have told me “I would love to fulfill my life purpose if only I knew what that was.” The truth is you do know what your life purpose is. Fear may be keeping you from realizing what it is, but your life purpose will reveal itself to you. It is holding you back from moving in the direction of your dreams and life purpose, but you do know what you want. That’s where the signs come in.

Every day, there are signs gently nudging us in the direction of our dreams and desires. We may ignore them or dismiss them, but they are there. Courage is required to follow our dreams because those who do not have dreams will tell us we are crazy, we can’t do it – anything to justify their lack of pursing their own goals and destiny. Your heart, not your head, will lead you to your life purpose. What makes your heart sing? What gives you joy? What makes you feel good about yourself?

The third phase of life heightens our awareness that life won’t last forever. It’s now or never. To accomplish a life goal it must be attempted. Most of the people I have known who have passed away, said before they died they learned it wasn’t the goal but what they learned along the way to accomplishing it that was important.

So, watch for and follow the signs. They are there. I promise.

Kathryn Avery

About Kathryn Avery

When Kathryn Severns Avery’s husband, Chris, began contemplating retirement in 2014, she knew they had to quickly come up with a multi-faceted plan. They spent the next year discussing, sometimes heatedly, what they would do once he stopped working. On paper their plan looked exciting. They would head from Colorado to the 1891 sea captain’s house they bought and renovated in Rockland on Maine’s midcoast. But the reality of planning and implementing retirement was much different than expected. Kathryn has worked in radio, television, marketing, and public relations. She is the author of five books and has written articles on interior design and crafts for national and regional publications including Romantic Homes, Log Homes Illustrated, The Rocky Mountain News and Colorado Homes and Lifestyles.