By Sue Mintz ~
Is your blinker on — or have you already taken the exit?
Where and what the heck is Retirementhood?
We travel through different “hoods” during our lifetime: Childhood, Tweenhood, Young Adulthood, Older Adulthood, Parenthood, Grandparenthood, and so on.
Entering each “hood” takes us to a new phase in life, filled with new experiences and opportunities to grow, mature, and enhance our lives. Each phase also brings with it new challenges and uncertainties.
Exiting from career and entering Retirementhood is no different. It is much more than being the center of attention at a Retirement Party or taking a Retirement Cruise! It’s not simply an event.
After entering Retirementhood, we may travel through four different communities.
■ The first may be Honeymoon Beach, an exciting place we have planned for, look forward to, and are eager to bask in! Or it may be Pity City Park because, for one reason or another, we are not happy about retiring. We may speed past, meander through, or get stuck in and require help moving on from these communities.
■ The next community? Now What? Crossing. Here, we must focus on and plan for things that give us reasons to get out of bed every morning. What will we do to live a life that is meaningful and has purpose?
■ Finally, we will enter the New Normal Estates, where we will carry out the plans made in Now What? Crossing. We have a new identity and will think less about who and where we were before retiring.
■ Traveling through Retirementhood, we may have green lights for miles — only to hit a series of red lights, speed bumps, and even a pothole. Might we need to make a U-Turn? Sometimes, yes.
As we learn and think about new opportunities, it’s not unusual to travel back and forth between Now What? Crossing and the New Normal Estates. That’s OK. We won’t be given a citation!
What’s important is to know that the journey to the New Normal Estates is a process, not an event. Enjoy the journey!