One of the things I tell new retirees that are having trouble figuring out what they want to be spending their newfound time on, is to look back at what they loved to do when they were kids. The piano is like that for me. I used to get lost in practice for hours and hours when I was a kid. I abandoned that activity for almost four decades for the demands of adulthood, only to return to return to it in my sixth year of retirement—better late than never. But those are good clues, the clues you get from your childhood--the time in your life before all the “shoulds”.
One of the fun things about blogging is connecting with readers and other bloggers. Most of these friendships are purely virtual, but even that reminds me of something fun from my childhood. Do you ever remember having a pen pal when you were a child? We had a teacher hook us up with a classroom in a rural part of the U.S., I can’t remember exactly where but I have it pictured in my mind as Montana or Wyoming, not that I’ve ever been to either.
It was so fun learning about my pen pal’s life, it seemed so different from mine, and yet we had so many of the same feelings about our lives. We were pen pals for a couple of years—we eventually lost touch. But it was important enough that I still remember her now. Anyway, the writing and the new electronic pen pal relationships I have are both carryovers from my childhood that I enjoy in retirement now.
For other clues about crafting a fulfilling retirement, it helps to look back at your career. Even though you may be happy to have left it, there are probably some elements that you loved that you might want to translate into retirement activities. That’s the subject of my article appearing in today’s Wall Street Journal. I hope you’ll go take a look at How to Re-create the Best of Work, or if you’re a subscriber it's page 5 of the Encore section of today’s paper.
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