MY BRAND NEW LIFE AS A METIREE AND BLOGGER: WHERE DO I START?
The hardest part about starting a blog has to be well, just starting a blog. I naïvely believed that all you have to do is just sit down and start writing. Little did I know that you had to find the hosting service, reserve a domain name, get a logo, find a suitable design and learn the whole technology of blogging before you could sit down and start writing. But now, all of that is behind me and I am ready to share my thoughts on impending retirement. HERE WE GO………
WHY AM I WRITING THIS BLOG? WHO WILL BE INTERESTED IN ME AND WHAT I HAVE TO SAY?
I did some soul searching before I decided to embark on this GREAT BIG blogging adventure. I have been a planner all my life. I am neither spontaneous nor a big risk taker (my children will laugh and roll their eyes when they read this because I am actually neurotically afraid of just about everything).
However, I did think long and hard about blogging and whether anything I have to share would possibly be of interest to anyone but me. I discovered that there are lots of people in their late 50’s and early 60’s who are more computer savvy than we give them credit for. In retirement, they are connected to the Internet and they take advantage of their free time to expand their knowledge base and stay current with topics that are of interest to them.
THERE ARE VERY FEW LIFESTYLE BLOGS FOR METIREES
I found very few lifestyle blogs aimed at the audience of newly retired persons (MEtirees) who are still vibrant and want to stay that way. Sure, there were lots of blogs about savings and managing money. There is a clear need for those but I was not going to be contributing to that body of information.
Instead, this is about focusing on the ME in MEtirement. It is about “younging it down”. Staying young in our thinking. Wearing clothes that make us look young but not embarrassingly so (no micro mini leather skirts with over-the-knee boots). Having a hair style that doesn’t look like a granny. Wearing makeup that makes us look our best. Wearing shoes that are not quite ready for the nursing home residents. We are not there yet.
And in this watershed of time, when we are just retiring and being gifted with moments to savor, we had better get on it because it is finite and we need to make the most of it. It is this timeline that this blog is aimed at– the years between energetic and youthful retirement and sitting in the Adirondack chairs at the beach contemplating what little is left of our future.
MEtirement is thinking about and pursuing what we want to do to enjoy our days without the guilt of our work responsibilities. Now we are finally free of work and the time spent in the office is now ours to own and to enjoy. Looking good. Feeling great. Eating well. Expanding our vision of life.
LEAVING THE WORK “NEST”
So now you know why I want to share my blog with you and why I think you, as a new or relatively new retiree, will be interested in what I have to say. Now I will digress and will tell you how I got to this place.
I am at R (“Retirement’) minus 30 days before I can officially consider myself retired after 36 years of working, first in a big law firm and then in a large corporation. The thought of not being employed any longer is not intimidating. Mostly, it’s liberating but there definitely is a feeling of change in the air and for once in my life I am uncertain of my future. I say that not in a negative way but in an emotionally optimistic way because I do not know what lies ahead but I do know that leaving behind the daily pressure of a high impact job feels fantastic and positive.
I have been thinking about retirement for a long time but never in a concrete way. Then, all of a sudden, because of certain opportunities that have presented themselves, the decision became easy, certain and I was unwavering in my decision to move forward. With 30 days to go before I leave my office for good, I am not conflicted, sentimental nor worried about how I am going to spend my time because time is something I have never had the pleasure of enjoying, free of the constant pull of work, clients and demands.
To think that my life will become one unending vacation fills me with joy and a feeling of freedom that I have only before imagined. Seeing my grandchildren during daylight hours on weekdays? I can hardly believe that can be true.
WHAT WILL I DO WITH MY TIME? A WONDERFUL PROBLEM TO HAVE…..
Only very recently have I started telling friends, family –and sometimes even strangers in Starbucks –that in a short while I will no longer be working. The first question every person has asked is, “What are you going to do with your time?” Often there is an additional inquiry….”How will you keep from being bored?” A few years ago I might have been concerned about how to fill my time if I was not at work, but there comes a point in one’s life when you just know when something is right and this just feels right for me. I will be 64 years old at the end of the year and it is time to start enjoying my life before I am too old to do so.
A CHANCE TO START LIFE ANEW
So as I thought about what I would do in retirement so that I do not become bored or lonely, I started thinking about all of the things that I have put on hold for all these years such as learning to paint, taking great photographs and editing them, finishing my book that has been half -written for the last 10 years, writing about food that I love to eat and cook and becoming better at putting together a wardrobe suitable for a 64-year-old but not a wardrobe that makes you look like you’re 64 years old. Have you noticed that there do not seem to be blogs targeted to those of us who would like to remain young, fashionable and in tune with the times? Why is that? I can only assume that the blogging world believes that no one over the age of 60 knows very much about computers, let alone blogs and blogging. BLOGGING IS FOOD FOR THE MIND AND SO FULFILLING! This was an eye-opening discovery!
And then came the revelation that I could accomplish all of the creative pursuits that have been on hold by starting with a blog . This platform would give me the opportunity to develop my creativity and express the thoughts I have about this watershed moment in my life as I transition between work and leisure.
WE ARE ALL ALIGNED IN OUR QUEST FOR A HEALTHY AND HAPPY METIREMENT
Hopefully, my writing will strike a chord in those of you who find yourself in the same position. Maybe with time I might find a way to articulate some of the wisdom I have accumulated, not because I am all that smart but because I have been observant all these years and I recognize what works and what doesn’t–in life, in relationships, in the world at large. There are just some basic truths, in my view, and maybe you will agree with some of them.
Now I am acutely aware that you can’t work forever and forever becomes more elusive as the days remaining in one’s life wind down. As I look forward to my retirement and all of the free time ahead of me, I finally recognize that life and good health are unfortunately short-lived and I am determined to take advantage of what I have worked for all my life by enjoying my family, my friends and a creative, relaxing life filled with things that I know how to do and things that I look forward to learning how to do.
JOIN ME IN THE JOURNEY
I hope that this blog will reach and be enjoyed by you and others who can relate to me–someone who has been on a treadmill going a million miles an hour in a successful (however that is measured!) career for four decades and who now is going to share ideas about filling all those days in innovative and personally satisfying ways.
So please stick with me as I find my way through the world of blogging (with all of its various elements which are making me a bit crazy at the moment). I can only hope my photos will get better as I take more lessons, my narrative will be funnier and more interesting to a wider audience, and my recipes will inspire you to be the best cook you can be. Indeed, I hope that readers will find me interesting, and what I write relevant to their own experiences. Wish me luck. The countdown to MEtirement begins.