The dawn of a new decade seems to be an appropriate time for deliberate reflection. The journals and diaries I’ve kept over the years provide some context or objectivity as I make some meaningful plans for this year and beyond. They have captured some of the significant decisions and transformational events of the past.
On my birthday, I head to the lake where I can take some time for myself. I’m grateful to enjoy relatively good health. I’ve got a wide circle of friends and colleagues who are traveling along the same road. We have a community of “creative agers” and experiential learners. We need to keep learning and that includes trying new things and doing new things both alone and together.
I’m not a planning freak but there is some strategizing involved with a retirement transition. I’ve talked to some coaches who encourage weekly goal setting. That’s way too much detail for me. A few years ago, I created a business and life vision board with some good intentions and I’ll stick with that.
My own personal plan involves a balance of work and leisure with leisure time increasing along the way. A goal of full-time leisure is not part of my plan because I love my work. If I can make a meaningful contribution and generate some income, I’m good to go. Some employers offer a phased retirement option to those who want it. While most employers say they are “age friendly” few actually offer opportunities, work arrangements and mentoring support to older workers.
Everyone needs a role model
I’m self employed and I’m lucky. In addition to a few very supportive friends, I have a great role model. My friend Audrey opened an commercial art gallery when she turned 85. Now, at the age of 91, she works everyday from 10am to 4pm. She says the daily visits by artists and customers keep her engaged and energized. She looks forward to the morning ritual of opening her shop. She loves connecting with others. She’s part of the community. Audrey is surrounded by colour and vibrant art. She’s joy-filled, irreverent and animated. I like that.