retirement

Believing There is More

Day 166

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What is your story? Is it a litany of job titles and roles you have fulfilled throughout your life. Is it your heartaches, your successes, and your failures all rolled up into one big ball called your life? I certainly hope not.

I am in moving into my third year of retirement. For the first year I continued to work and one day, as I watched my husband relaxing, I asked myself why I was continuing to meet deadlines every day. I wasn’t stressed out and the work wasn’t hard, but I was still working. That isn’t the definition of retirement in my way of thinking.

Moving into this phase of my life was an adjustment. I kept trying to define myself based on the prior jobs I held or the accomplishments I achieved. I was still trying to measure up against some constantly moving yardstick that no one but me cared about.

So I quit. I retired from my retiree job.

I suddenly realized I was now free to be me. Undefined and unapologetically me. Rediscovering my authenticity was a journey for me – one I did not even realize I was taking.

So many of my friends and family are still in the workforce. So much of their lives revolve around their jobs — even outside their work hours. Work consumes much more than a 40-hour week in most households.

I mentioned yesterday that I am watching Love Rising. Kyle Cease talks about the things we do that bring us the greatest pleasure and joy in our lives – the 10’s. Then he asks what percentage of our day we spend on ‘the 10’s‘. Hmmm… My percentage was pretty low.

I am starting to realize how far I am moving away from my old story. I no longer identify with the woman who was. I am the woman who is. The wonderful part of this is who I am today may not be who I am tomorrow and that’s okay – it’s more than okay. It means I am open to all my dreams and aspirations. I am no longer blocked by my old story.

Of course, I am proud of the work life I held and the accomplishments of my life. Those are part of my old story and it’s a pretty good read, but I cannot define this part of my glorious life by those reflections in the mirror.

Today and tomorrow are bright and beautiful and an integral part of my new story. Hang on to your hats. It’s going to be a great ride.