It May Take A While To Realize You Are Still You.
We expected our first days of retirement to feel fabulous. We were suddenly free to do whatever we wanted to do, whenever we wanted to do it. No place to be. No phone calls to return. No meetings to attend. No urgency. needs or expectations. No gearing up for a day filled with decisions and revisions and stress and drama.
And the first days were just great. But after a while things felt weird. Instead of freedom, there was a void. Instead of being relaxed, we were restless. To be expected, perhaps, but we had given retirement no thought and were taken by surprise. Disconcerted. Maybe even embarrassed.
When we were working, we barely looked at a clock. Now that we were not working, we found ourselves glancing at the time as we cleaned closets, did some retail therapy, organized papers, exercised more regularly. The days stretched out.
Then there was our identity. We had been independent career women. Now that we weren't, who were we? What was our purpose? What was next?
It turns out you can’t make the adjustment overnight, You need time to mourn, to think things through, to adjust. The initial period of dislocation passes, though, especially if you can commiserate with others in the same boat. We came to realize how important it was to be able to talk about our fears and frustrations, as well as our hopes and dreams for the future. We now know that it takes some time to move on from attachment to careers and jobs, time during which the future almost subliminally begins to take shape.
And now we know that the future, for us, needs to involve purpose. We will always be working girls in one way or another. We love the independence. We love the sense of accomplishment. We love the energy and effort that having goals requires.
It took time to find a new purpose, something we could be passionate about. But we kept talking, and moving forward, and recalibrating, and we found our way. You will too.