05 Aug WHAT to do in Retirement? Aging Well With Marjorie
Transition to retirement is less traumatic if you plan ahead to have purpose and meaning in your life in later years. Even if you’re already retired, it’s not too late to make plans for your future.
What are your daydreams about? Where do you focus your attention? What inspires you to spend your energy on?
A good place to start this quest is with your values, because anything you do that matches your values will bring meaning and purpose to your life.
So what are your values? Kelly McGonical, in The Upside of Stress, suggests choosing your three most important values from the following list:
acceptance, accountability, adventure, art or music, athletics, celebration, challenge, collaboration, commitment, community, compassion, competence, cooperation, courage, creativity, curiosity, discipline, discovery, efficiency, enthusiasm, equality, ethical action, excellence, fairness, faith / religion, family, freedom, friendship, fun, generosity, gratitude, happiness, hard work, harmony, health, helping others, honesty, honor, humor, independence, innovation, integrity, interdependence, joy, leadership, lifelong learning, love, loyalty, mindfulness, nature, openness, patience, peace / nonviolence, personal growth, pets / animals, politics, positive influence, practicality, problem-solving, reliability, resourcefulness, self-compassion, self-reliance, simplicity / thrift, strength, tradition, trust, willingness, wisdom.
Be sure to select the three values that matter most to you, not what others think or expect of you. McGonical further suggests that “a value can be something that comes naturally to you or something that you would like to develop in yourself.”
The next challenge is to find or create opportunities that match your values. Look online or check the resources at your local library to find volunteer opportunities near you. Perhaps you want to look for some form of employment, or maybe start a business or social enterprise.
For anything that tweaks your interest, see how well it matches your top three values. You may also find it helpful to tell other people what your values are, and that you’re looking for something that fits you. Sometimes other people know us better than we know ourselves!