Pretend that you’re retired every day!
People wish themselves into stress – they wish they were here and they wish they were there. They wish things were different and they wish they were somebody else. They wish and they wish. It would seem that some have spent their whole lives wishing.
Today, one of my neighbors said she had changed her mind about a trip she was about to take. The weather is so beautiful now that she decided to stay home and wait until worse weather comes along. She said she could change her mind about departure day because she was retired now.
It struck me as odd why she thought she couldn’t have done it when she was working. As a manager, team members often wanted to change their booked vacation time for whatever reason. If it was possible, of course, a change in plans was fine.
What’s even more odd is that we don’t always get to do what we want to do when we want to do them in any case, retired or not – life just isn’t like that. How many times have your plans been changed due to unforeseen circumstances – weather, accidents, illness, tragedy, etc.
Let’s say she decides on a day to leave. She gets into her car and a few minutes down the road a truck hits her car – she won’t be able to go on her trip.
If your work is so stressful as to cause you to “wish”, be unhappy or paralyzed to live your life as you would like to live it, find another path. You may never get to retirement and, if you do, you might not like what you find!
More and more there are retired people living in our complex. At first, they’re happy. Within a year, the “shininess” of the “new life” wears off. They twist themselves into balls trying to figure out what to do with themselves next. There is only so much golf they can play, and only so many trips they can take. Often isolation sets in as friends move away or die, family members are working and busy, and grandchildren grow up.
The happiest retirees are the ones who were ready with another “job”. They work at another full-time, part-time or seasonal job or a small business of their own, do what they love to do and are happy to be involved as they always have been throughout their adult lives. Often, they volunteer too but, sometimes, that doesn’t last too long either because they are asked to come on staff.
This is my advice to you today: make every day a “retiree” day – do what you want to do. What does that mean? It means that you do what you do because you know why you’re doing it. For instance, if you’re working at a company five days a week, you’re working there because you like working there or the pay is exactly what you want or the benefits are the ideal for you – the payoff is now – today! Know why you’re doing something – the bigger picture of your life – and focus on the why – you’ll find yourself much happier, you’ll feel freer and better able to cope with the downsides – there is a downside to everything.
And you’ll find that you are able to ask for what you want. You may not always get it but you’ll feel free to ask. I think it’s that freedom which people crave – they’ve always had it though they just never thought they did.
If you are not doing what you want to do because there is not good reason to be doing it, stop. And stop wishing things were different. Change course. Make and work on a plan to get you in a place where every day is a day you’re doing what you want to do and you know why.
This today is all you’ve got – make the most of it!