In my last post a couple of months ago, I wrote about letting go and trusting in yourself, no matter what happens. As I got my thoughts together about the prospect of retirement, which I had already decided to do at that point, I started preparing a letter to let the people who had been there for me during my career know how much I appreciate them, and to share with them the wisdom my 40-year career has taught me.
Well, today was the day, and I survived it. I hit that “send” button at 8:18 this morning, and I almost cried as I clicked the mouse. Even after six months of planning, that one tiny “click” made it real. The sun will set tonight and rise again tomorrow, and I’ll still be here, getting ready to start my day, just in a different way.
Recently, an acquaintance used a term that resonated well with me. She calls it “re-tiring,” like getting new tires for a long trip. That works for me. My other go-to “r” word was “reprioritizing,” because I’m not retiring. I’m doing something different.
So what advice did this newly re-tired person share this morning?
- Above all else, never, EVER become a slave to your job. Leave work at the end of the workday, and more importantly, leave work at work as much as you can. If you aren’t nurturing and enjoying the life your job supports, why are you doing it?
- Never let your job (or your title, your paycheck, your house, etc.) define who you are. You are so much more than what you do. Material things are nice to have, but if you can’t find happiness and contentment without them, you might be looking in the wrong place.
- As don Miguel Ruiz says in The Four Agreements (Read it!), “Always do your best” – whatever your best is at any given time. You can’t always give 110% of yourself, and certainly not 110% of the time. Be realistic, be honest, be fair, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- No one is indispensable. If your life (job/family/children/community/social media) can’t function without you, you’re either doing something wrong, or doing it for the wrong reason. The things we worry about are usually a lot less significant than we give them credit for. Let. It. Go.
- Enjoy what you do. If you don’t like your job, you won’t be happy the other half of your day, either. It won’t always be perfect, but make the best of what you’ve got, or find something better. You deserve it!
- Don’t be afraid of change. Change can be intimidating, but it’s how we expand our horizons. Be willing to step out of your comfort zone. The biggest changes (even the ones we don’t like) can lead to the most unexpected and rewarding opportunities. Take a leap of faith and trust in yourself!
I have covered much of this wisdom in other blog posts, but somehow, seeing it all together reminds me how much I have grown and expanded since I first started working in 10th grade. It’s been a long journey, and still, there is another path continuing ahead, so it isn’t over. It isn’t good-bye. It’s just a change in energy, a change in focus. And believe it or not, that new journey started almost 7 years ago, which inspired me to start this blog.
Yesterday is a cancelled check. Tomorrow is a promissory note. Today is the only cash you have, so spend it wisely! – Kay Lyons