Lisa, a retired tennis instructor, devotes herself to environmental activism. Whether it’s 10 below zero or a steamy 90 plus, she scours the Illinois prairies and forests, weeding, planting, preserving. She also takes calendar-worthy photographs of the birds, bugs, animals, and plants that cross her path. When she’s not out in the elements, Lisa volunteers at the Field Museum labeling and sorting obscure plant life.
What’s your passion?
What gets you out of bed each morning?
Gina is a community activist who enjoys tennis, adventure travel, jogging. Mary Rose is a cherished grandma who enjoys cooking, traveling, volunteering at a daycare center. Cathy is a therapist who enjoys yoga, theatre, gardening, church. Jeanne is a substitute teacher and tutor who enjoys reading, wine tasting, and the RV life in Michigan. Sally is a writer who enjoys her granddaughter, her dogs, traveling, church.
Peggy and Luanne have found their retirement sweet spot. They organize a book club; and enjoy traveling, learning, shopping for thoughtful gifts, laughing. Plus a small side of substitute teaching.
My brother, Charles, a philosophy professor, is planning a retirement of speaking, traveling, and volunteer teaching in a prison setting. His wife, Jil, is a lifelong painter and poet for whom the word “retirement” has no meaning.
These folks are not fooled by the allure of pleasure. Or busy-ness. They wake up with purpose even if that entails a walk in the forest preserve. A smile; a manicure; coffee with an old friend.
Because when we forget ourselves – we find ourselves.
Forbes Magazine offers this advice for finding fulfillment in retirement.
- Mentor, teach, or volunteer to share your knowledge and wisdom
- Engage with others and stay social
- Be open to taking risks
- Practice being enthusiastic, grateful, and satisfied
- Notice the good things every day
- Laugh more, especially at yourself
- Like more, love more, and give more
- Search for, find and pursue your true passion; if you’re unsure of what your true passion is, get your free Passion Quiz here.
We don’t have to start with a grand plan. Try something on for size, like a pair of new shoes! See if it feels right, can you wiggle your toes? I mistakenly thought I had to get it right from the beginning, day 1, but that’s just not the case. We can rip up the script and start all over again every day, every week, every month!
This is my patchwork quilt of life, a scrap of cloth for Monday added to another scrap for Tuesday, and so on and so forth. Before you know it, it’s a blanket!
Today, I couldn’t fall back asleep. I shouldn’t have looked, but it was 5:15 a.m Ugh! Instead of being groggy and grumpy, I got out of bed and went down to feed my very hungry dogs. They don’t care what time it is. Maybe, it’s better not to be able to tell time, but just go with the flow of the day. It can be a good precursor for how the rest of it shapes up. Wake up negative, set the tone for a crappy day. Wake up with a smile on your face and who knows?
Attitude readjustment is what my husband says I need. Perhaps, he is right (hate to admit that!) but if I have a little less sleep at least I made the decision to get out of bed. The sun is shining, the sky is blue and I have a warehouse sale to go to hunting for bargains!
Whatever gets you up in the morning may be different each day. Have a purpose, incentivize yourself, do something good for you every day and let us know how it goes.
-What’s in your quilt? You don’t have to be a nature photographer; feeding hungry pooches can make your smile…AND your day!
-Codie agrees. She is heading to the bedroom to bring you a celebratory sock.
Enjoy the ride!
xox Barclay and Joy