RETIREMENT BRINGS OPPORTUNITIES to chart a new life course and to set a new path – and I am loving this time of life to do just that. I have never had so much time at my command for what I really want to do – blocks of time, not just snippets. On occasion, however, I get so excited about possibilities and new challenges that interest me, that I am overwhelmed.
IT HELPS TO SIT DOWN AND GET ORGANIZED by making specific lists – setting priorities for what I am going to do today, this week or month – or even this year. Tackling my desires in this way presents reality to me, as there are only so many hours in any one day or week. More important, it turns maybes into goals. I have always used list-making as a way of focusing my priorities into action plans. As a wife, mother and career woman, and later a caregiver for my parents, I juggled multiple responsibilities. Staying organized was the secret to helping me to give attention where it was needed and to move forward to achieve goals.
SURPRISE – CREATING SOME ORGANIZATION IN MY LIFE TRANSITION POST-RETIREMENT is still a useful strategy. There is no more rewarding feeling of satisfaction and pride then accomplishing something we really want to do. On days when I feel I have so much I want to do and so little time to do it all, I remind myself to focus on the blessings of my life and the journey of adventure I am on.
I SHARED MY THOUGHTS WITH SOME OF MY WOMEN FRIENDS and learned we had a common perception. We agreed that this stage of life ushers in:
(1) A TIME OF VAST NEW POSSIBILITIES for our lives (including a few loose ends we want to address), and
(2) A GROWING AWARENESS OF FINITE TIME AVAILABLE.
This is vastly different from the age of early adulthood when we perceived unlimited possibilities – and all the time in the world to accomplish them.
In reflecting on our discussion, I wrote a poem, with tongue in cheek, to express the perception of fleeting time that occurs to women over 50 from time to time – and some of the varied items on our “want to do” list.
I WANT TO RUN
I just want to run.
Life is shorter
in the afternoon of my life.
I know it well now – Still,
so much I want to do:
explore the small towns of Ireland,
master the flute,
make a quilt,
organize family pictures on CD’s,
simplify my life,
reconnect with an old friend,
search out my ancestors,
write our family’s story for my children,
publish a book of my poems,
take a class in seafood cuisine,
keep a blog, commune with nature,
improve my piano playing,
learn to play chess,
launch a new career,
plant a rose garden,
learn to meditate,
watch the Fall
arrive in inches.
I need to run faster,
reach farther, focus,
organize, hurry, scurry.
Lord, there is so much more
to do on my fleeting path,
I want to run sometimes –
but – don’t let me run so fast,
I miss what’s on the way.
Sue Marquis Bishop 2013