The major life change for Baby Boomers when they leave their full time work world is an external event that happens. How will you experience your transition through your change into your encore stage of life? You will go through endings and new beginnings, bridged together with periods of unknowing which can feel very unsettling in your retirement lifestyle.
If you have been deeply immersed in your full time work world, you may have felt very comfortable and confident with your responsibilities and your relationships. When you move into your retirement, you may feel overwhelmed by your unknown future. It may seem so ambiguous to you.
Your encore stage of life is a time for exploring yourself in new ways. You may feel bewildered by all of the questions you ask yourself about how to spend your time and what your identity will be. Instead of trying to take control of your life as you may have been used to doing in your work world, I suggest that you give yourself time and space to allow new understanding and new opportunities to arise. You’ve never been in your encore stage of life before. It is a new time to ask yourself new questions and make new choices for yourself.
The poem below by Rainer Maria Rilke beautifully states how to understand this time of unknowing.
Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the question now. Perhaps then, some day far in the future, you will gradually without even noticing it, live your way into the answer. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke
Approach your encore stage of life with humility and patience, feeling gratitude for your capacity to expand your own self awareness. This exploration will strengthen your ability to live a retirement lifestyle of fulfillment and contribution, leaving a legacy of your choice.
What questions are you living right now?
Janice Williams, Retirement Coach, www.welcomingretirement.com