More Visions of Retire Meant

Flower Spiral © lynette sheppard

We received so many great responses from you all – thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I wanted to make sure that these visions didn’t get lost in the comments, so am posting them in this blog entry. Be sure to read to the end, where R shares some concerns about retirement. We all learn from sharing our wisdom with one another, so thank you again!

PK wrote:  

I’m 64 now. I’ve been working since I was 10, at one gig or another. Can’t say I was dedicated to most of those gigs – they were a way to make a living, to support my other interests. Some of them were more intrinsically interesting than others, and one aligned with my higher purpose and felt really satisfactory. For the last 6 years I’ve worked from home primarily as a virtual office manager for a company based on the mainland. I’ve investigated the Social Security retirement plans and am staging a 2-year withdrawal from this company. However, my husband may get a full-time college professor job this year – and then I would retire almost immediately. What would I do with myself? I can think of about 1000 things – but first volunteer with children, be the full-time artist I’ve wanted to be all my life, garden, bake, be a domestic goddess, raise chickens. I look forward to it.

JM shares her own vision: 

Aloha Ladies, I am 61 and still have a 17 year old son at home. He is a jr in high school. Im still so very active being a mom and a grandmother to 11. I teach hula 3 times a week plus work. Being a photographer I can pick and choose my work times. I get a little sad thinking that one day coming up my son will be moving on. I see his excitement and dont want to dampen his enthusiasm for moving out of moms house! So this has been good for me to read as most of you have already passed this point years ago. I am not sure exactly what I will do, but Im sure traveling will be in the picture! Hula keeps me thriving so Im thinking of moving into taking classes to become a Kumu Hula. The older I get the more important relationships are, all relationships including my ancestors. I personally feel there is a whole new world waiting for me.
Yes I have sleepless nights, yes I still get too hot and then too cold. I just giggle and dont let myself get caught in any drama over it. I feel very alive and healthy.

K is looking forward to retirement too:  

As I approach retirement from about 3-1/2 years out — I think about it more and more often.

Right now, I feel like I am in kind of a transition or rehearsal phase. When I take a planned day off from work, I try to mimic what I would do if I didn’t have to report to the grindstone ever again. What would I do if I had my time as my own?

Most times, I try to spend some time in nature, taking a short hike on a trail I haven’t walked before and really open my eyes and drink in the textures, smells, and sights I will have the time to savor in the future.

I think a lot about the type of retired grandma I want to be. I want to be an active and a fun one to be around. One of my daughters is not too domesticated, so I’d like to expose her daughter to some of my favorite pasttimes (embroidery, sewing, gardening) that she otherwise doesn’t get to experience. (I’ve already begun that, but want to continue if it’s something she wants. I learned so much of this kind of thing from my grandmother).

Since the out-of-doors is important and nurturing for me, I would like to share that with my grandkids and continue to with my husband as long as possible. I see camping and many local hikes in the future. There’s a wonderful group of older women who maintain trails and camp together; I’ve been dreaming of joining them.

I branch out my thoughts to the dark times, winter and days when the driving rain keeps me indoors. I like to think I will busy myself finishing long-abandoned projects, starting new ones, taking classes on old and new hobbies. There are many groups who meet in our library system for conversations on local issues, arts, hobbies, travel, foreign language practice, and of course, books! I look forward to accessing those.

So, I guess what retirement means to me is that it is a trigger for the next exciting life series! I’ve done the rest—here comes the best! It’s a time of becoming enriched and enriching the lives of those you love. Of not letting life simply pass by, but enjoying and savoring every moment.

Still, not every woman is looking forward to retirement. R, a menopause Goddess sister from Portugal shares her concerns. I suspect she is not the only one of us caught in some conflict about these changes. Here’s her heartfelt musings:

I’ve found Menopause Goddesses blog by chance, sometimes I read it with the most attention, and sometimes not I have to say.
Retirement subject is not very close for me yet, I’m a Portuguese 55 years woman living near Lisbon our capital and this year the allowed retirement age as come to 66 years and 3 months, or 60 years age and 40 of discount career for pension found, this last option with 6%/year tax and a sustainability tax of 13,8%, resuming, too much limitative for us to think about it, unless you think to live your retirement begging. Situation in Portugal is not friendly for those that think retire sooner than official age.

Although the approaching of that stage of live for my husband, that is 5 years older than me, scares me a lot, besides work he always count with me next to him for everything and I’m afraid to feel myself under a dominance I’m not used to.
I know that in US young people leave their parents’ home when they went to university but in Portugal we have not that tradition, only the students that have less score classifications go to universities outside their residence area.

My 2 daughters with 33 (the older is a journalist and actually is working as public relations) and 26 years (she’s a nurse) have study near and they’re still living with us.
The difficulty to rent or buy a flat in our country is huge for young, and the salaries sometimes are not enough to face their responsibilities sooner, they are now both thinking to rent a flat and share expenses, this situation is causing me the feeling of empty nest, the past 35 years I’ve been first a mother, a wife and less a woman so I’m feeling lost and I don’t know my role any more, I’m beginning to feel also the weight of menopause literally (both: body weight and feelings).

Sorry if I extended myself too much but we still feel this subject as banned in our society, the women don’t like to show their disability to face this stage of mind and always try to show themselves very open mind, with millions of activities, dressing as teenagers sometimes acting if their daughters were rivals.
Thanks for sharing with us.

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4 Responses to More Visions of Retire Meant

  1. Cynthia Sawtell February 7, 2017 at 3:26 pm #

    I was so glad to see that R, in Portugal, brought up one significant piece of this transition: the empty nest. It is a separate issue from “what do I do with myself in retirement”. That is, you can suffer from empty nest syndrome before ever having to deal with constructing a satisfying retirement life – especially here in the US where young people tend to get set up on their own in their 20s.

    I am one of the elders among the goddesses and will turn 70 this year. I have worked my way through both of these issues which, for me, happened a few years apart. On the other side of this transition now for 10 years, I have managed to create a life that I love, one that challenges and keeps me growing, one that satisfies my itch to make a difference in the world and one enriched by my relationships with my women friends.

    It is so important not to become isolated, especially if you live alone.

    Here are my best pieces of advice:
    1) Turn your attention back to the things you love. There are probably things you let go of many years ago due to the demands of work and family. Take them back now! This doesn’t happen all at once, but gradually, one step at a time. Learning new skills keeps you vital.

    2) Assess all of the bounty you have created in your life – not just “stuff” but relationships, healthy children who are making their way in the world, etc. Take some moments each day to be grateful for the blessings in your life.

    3) Think about what you are passionate about and get involved in making the world a better place. Maybe it is volunteer work in your community, maybe it’s changing the circumstances of people’s lives in some less-fortunate part of the world. Maybe it is fighting for free speech or some environmental cause. The urge to “give back” becomes very strong in our elder years, and each of us can make a difference.

    4) Open up your world with travel, if you can afford it. Exploring other geographies and cultures is very stimulating, and now you have the time to do it. The best travel experiences transform you and enrich your life.

    5) Do some quiet visioning work to determine what you WANT your life to look like in retirement. Once you have a clear vision of what would make you happy, every day decisions move you closer to that vision.

    I can categorically say that my 60s have been the happiest decade of my life. I have created a new life that is authentic and satisfying. These years are a gift, not a burden. Improvements in health care around the world have enabled many of us to have a rich, fulfilling retirement.

  2. LynetteSh February 14, 2017 at 2:19 pm #

    Beautifully said, Cynthia! Thank you so much for your wise and illuminating counsel.

  3. attiya abdul wahab June 4, 2017 at 8:17 am #

    This is an excellent blog regarding menopause. For this condition I will recommend supplements, and I have found a few on this site


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