I find it unusual when I hear people planning their retirement say “I’m just going to hang out and take it easy. Maybe I’ll do a few things around the house, travel a little. But mostly I’m going to sit back and do nothing.”
I’m not one of those people. In fact, I’ve decided I’m not retiring at all. Look up the word “retire” and you will see that the majority of the meanings talk about withdrawing in some form or fashion. I don’t know about you, but I have no intention of retiring or withdrawing from anything in my third phase of life.
I plan to use the next several decades to examine and evaluate my life, launch new ventures, learn new things, explore new ideas, create meaningful experiences and relationships, and dream new dreams. For the first time in a very long time I have time to reflect, to take responsibility for my life, to make amends for the wrongs I have done, to correct my behaviors, and to move forward without carrying with us the burden of the past.
Although relaxation is part of this life phase, for me it is not the time to be idle. Rather, I am accepting the invitation to be fully human, fully awake, and fully alive. There is no time like the present to explore, know, love, and forgive myself and others. It is time to deepen my relationships, create new ones, and let go of those that are non-supportive or toxic.
I am naming the desires of my heart and I am acting upon them. I am committed to discovering and cultivating my talents and gifts and to vanquishing my negative beliefs about what is possible for me to accomplish. Now is the time to commit to a deep and abiding faith and to strengthen my spiritual beliefs and practice. It is time to share all of me – my gifts, talents, love, compassion, and resources – with humanity.
Yesterday was my birthday and the present I gave to myself was me. In the next year I plan to be more curious about life, laugh more often, experience wonder, be more joyful, explore more, dare greatly, love more passionately, play music more beautifully, and embrace all of me (wrinkles, rolls, age spots and all) more fully. This is the time to fully become who I was born to be. Far too soon I, and all my fellow baby boomers, will be no more.
Join me and make a vow to embrace this unprecedented opportunity to spend your third phase of life living your full potential, making a difference in your life and the lives of others. Instead of retiring or withdrawing, why not move forward into a bold, new, you?