Pushes and pulls

While working on a module for the Your Countdown to Retirement coaching program my team created a list of events that boomers witnessed/were a part of growing up. As I reviewed their entries I was struck by the number of events I had forgotten.

Sure there were the “biggies” – those historic moments where you can recall in vivid detail where you were and what you were doing during those events. But there were so many more that had faded in my memory (for a list go to our website yourcountdowntoretirement.com)

Just as boomers have those forgotten events they also forget or minimize the things they have accomplished personally and professionally, the challenges they have overcome, and the dreams they abandoned. Now is the time to remember and to rekindle those waning embers of interest that shaped us as we grew up and to use them to shape the rest of our lives.

There are pulls and pushes unique to this phase of life. I am pulled to reconnect with friends from my youth, to engage in meaningful conversations, to spend time with family. I am pulled spend time outdoors and appreciate the immense amount of beauty around me as the sun rises on Penobscot Bay. I am pulled to simplify my life.

I am also pushed to take care of important matters like fulfilling my life purpose, strengthening my faith, and wasting less time on the meaningless and trivial. My body implores me to move more so I ache less whether I want to or not.

Every day I make choices that work for me or against me. Awareness is the key to change. While I may feel powerless about a situation I can always control my thoughts and attitude. I can see the glass as half full or half empty and remember in either situation there is clearly room for more liquid.

Many of the greatest thinkers and philosophers of our time talk about gratitude and appreciation being the keys to happiness in life. When you don’t appreciate what you’ve got, why would someone or something give you more?

Too often we think that change has to be sweeping and dramatic. Yet lasting change comes from small actions repeated on a daily basis. One way to change today is to take time to see what is pulling you and what is pushing you. That awareness may change what you do with the rest of your life.

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.