This month marks one year since my official retirement from a 40+ year career in retail…so how did I do this first year?

I really dislike the word retirement!  We have to find another way to describe the next phase.  I had lots of goals, (on paper) and have achieved many of them.  ‘Slowing down‘ was never a goal, as the pitch of my day and calendar is full.  I like it this way.  I have the same intensity as I did while working.  We do take ourselves with us. The difference is that I make the schedule and do what I want to do and when I want to do it!  And… I have time to focus on NOW.

I wanted to do different things that I never had time to do, see my friends, meet new people, be involved with organizations that were doing great things in the community. To be available as a coach to anyone reaching out to me confidentially, for their career development.  Traveling the world, exploring all aspects of retail and food and having time to visit family were goals. And…Being Fully Engaged! 

Doing things that make you happy every day is critical. Identifying what that is for each person, and respecting the differences“.  It may seem selfish, but I only want to do things that are in my ‘Happy Bubble.’

I’m involved in committees, raising money for REACH, The Boston Club, and the Girl Scouts of Eastern Ma…and planning my 50th High School Reunion.

What I have not done is sit in my living room and read a book, purge my house of paperwork, clean out my basement and attic. I have not pulled weeds although I joined the Garden Club.

I had to  learn more technology, hired a group of  beautiful hipster women to come to my house, and be patient with me on social media and computer work. They are nice to me…I pay them… to teach me how to get to the sophomore stages of blogging.

I quit my health club and joined a new one and got an awesome trainer who is now doing things with me that are age appropriate. I took Spanish, thought I could nail this…dropped out before finishing…totally unrealistic about what this brain could absorb.  I will have to try again.

I learned my awesome girlfriends are busy too.  Those that are not working are involved with their families and organizations and making contributions to their communities.  We make phone appointments to share our lives, and coordinate calendars for lunch. And I have met some of the most amazing people, talented and smart women whom I learn something from every day.  Thank you for your friendship.  You inspire me!

What’s next?

I have only just begun…working with my family to develop the business plan for a specialty food store we hope to open next spring.  Meeting dynamic creative people who will help.  We are having fun with our family business meetings: Morry and CJ and me. It is a work in progress.  Stay tuned…

I am inspired by Frederick law Olmsted, whose house we visited last weekend.  He moved to Boston in 1883 from NY at age 61 and continued to design the 5 mile Emerald Necklace, one of his greatest achievements in the Boston Park System.  At age 75, as the project was completed he turned his business over to his sons. The word retirement never existed at that time.

Retirement today (can you think of a new name?) = fully engaged in whatever makes you happy, being active, and passionate about what you are doing…and effecting others in the process.

There is no judgement, as it looks different for everyone, and to appreciate that  every day is a gift.

There is only one constant that we expect to encounter every day and that is to expect change.”  And that’s the theme of this blog!

Thanks for reading…