Whether single or married, divorced or widowed, we all have friends and family that will be impacted by a decision to leave a career and focus on what’s next in the second half of life. In many cases, much of the personal joy in the decision is the expected opportunity to spend more time with family and friends. The reality is that your loved ones have likely built their schedules around the amount of time that you were available when working full-time. This new-found extra time on your schedule, may not automatically equate to your loved ones having the extra time to spend with you. For me that was an important revelation, and a scary one!!
I remember when my wife, Mel, and I were discussing my pending “retirement”, and Mel made the following important and profound statement, “Don’t expect me to be your cruise director.” Loosely translated, that meant that she had things to do that did not include me. After my wounded ego recovered, I realized that my daily activities were just that, mine. Mine to schedule and mine to own! That was somewhat new territory for me as I was used to others scheduling meetings or telecoms that I needed to attend and having easy access to co-workers to take a walk or have lunch with.
Getting comfortable planning and completing activities that aligned with that of my friends and family is taking some getting used to, and not every effort hits its mark. That said, I do find it to be very liberating, empowering, and a necessary step in managing changing relationships, and re-energizing my life. I hope that you will find the same.
Contributed by Don Fries, Retirement Coach, Certified Too Young To Retire® Facilitator