Retirement is the second act of life, when it is even better than the first


Have you ever been to a play or musical and been so mesmerized by the actions on stage that Act 1 is over before you knew it? You are so amazed by what you have been through that you cannot wait for the rest. The theater is full of words of praise and you know you are seeing real masters at work in the directing and performances you attend. Can Act 2 be as good as what you just saw?

In some ways, our life unfolds like a staging. Act One certainly covers a lot of ground. Our upbringing, family life and careers are all part of the scene with us playing the lead role. We are the playwright, the producer and the performer and we have more control than we realize over what happens on the stage we call Life. It goes faster than we think and it is only when we come to the end of Act 1, our professional career, that we realize how fast it was going. Then comes the second act: our retreat.

Imagine for a moment that wonderful first act we just described, then, at the end of the intermission, take your seat and realize that there is no script. The actors have no lines to say, no songs to sing and no dance numbers because there is no directing at all. The sad fact is that many people wake up on the first day of retirement with this exact feeling. All the years of hard work and savings are behind them – what now? There are no meetings to go to, no emails to catch up on, and no conference calls. The retirement holiday is over and your schedule is clear for the rest of your life. If you define yourself by what you have done for a living, there may be a real adjustment needed when there is no more work to go to.

For a lot of people, they just find another job where they work a little less but don’t have to worry about how to fill their time. It’s sad because retirement should be a time to enjoy life to the fullest. Your days should be filled with the things you want to do, the topics you want to learn, and the places you want to see. It’s easier than you might think if you take some time to plan. Most people plan their finances, but they don’t plan their time. You can change that right now if you find the days dragging on and the time you spend watching TV exceeds the time you spend with other people.

One of the most revealing exercises you can do is find a quiet place and ask yourself what you want to do with the rest of your life. Don’t rule anything out and make sure you write everything down. Go back as far as you can remember and capture every dream or desire you ever had. Take your time and try to remember it as much as you can. Put your list away and read it the next day and the day after. Add whatever else you can think of to the list and start prioritizing the things that are most important to you. So ask yourself: what are you waiting for? Make Act 2 even better than Act 1!

Source by J M Conner

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