WHAT WILL BRING ME JOY TODAY?
Five years ago, my husband retired. Some people fear retirement. They have their entire life interwoven with their job, career, or professional position. They fear the empty space. The quiet. The lack of identity.
This is intensified when others ask questions like, “What are you going to do now?”
The in-between-the-lines message is – you MUST have a plan; you MUST do something.
If you have swirled your entire identity around what you do for work, when you retire, you may find yourself struggling with this loss of identity. I came up with an idea. As fast as you can, why not create a new one! Have new business cards printed with your name and a new title.
You may no longer be an Executive Director, a CEO, a realtor or whatever your work title was, but now you can be anything you want to be.
Happily Retired ~ Artist ~ Volunteer ~ King of Your World ~ Grandma
Practice saying it – “I AM a WRITER!” or “I am Happily Retired!”
The new title may feel strange at first, but practice saying it out loud until YOU believe it! Include your address, phone, email, or other information so that people know how to reach you. Hand these new business cards out with pride!
After owning his own business for 38 years, it was time for my husband to relax and enjoy life, but I did worry about how he would react. So, on the day the papers were signed, and the business was transferred to new owners, I gave him a gift. A box of new business cards which expressed his new title and included his contact information. He was thrilled to have something to hand people when they asked those questions. It was a new identity and a way of keeping in touch with others.
Now, five years later, most people know how to connect with him. The business cards don’t come out as often as they did in the beginning, although the questions continue.
“Don’t you get bored?”
"What do you do all day?”
“How do you spend your time?”
He has settled into the greatest response of all. His answer is simple. Thought provoking. Priceless!
“I wake up every morning and ask myself,
-- what will bring me joy today? --
And then I do that.”
When he uses this response, people become quiet. They visualize what that must be like- to wake up every day knowing you can do exactly what you want to do and fill your day with joy. If they are curious my husband will elaborate. Yes, we love to travel and enjoy adventures, but most of the time it isn’t flashy acts of indulging, he explains. He is a lifelong learner, so some days what brings him joy is reading all day. Some days sleeping in, staying up late, or a luxurious afternoon nap brings him joy. Some days a drive to play blackjack brings him joy. Even plowing snow from our property with his tractor brings him a joyful contentment.
The days of worrying about profit and loss, about staff showing up for work, about deadlines and sales are over. Now it is the simple things, that there wasn’t time for during those years of productivity, that bring him joy.
Maybe it is time for me to create a new business card for him that simply says,
“I am a JOY FINDER!”
I wonder if it is time for all of us to add a bit of joy finding into our daily lives. A moment here, a lunch break there… you don’t have to wait until you retire to find time to add simple snippets of joy to your life.
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Pennie’s Life Lesson: “You create your identity – your job doesn’t. Find your own joy.”
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Pennie Heart to Heart
There is a certain magic about where I live both physically and spiritually – on the crossroads of Spirit and Brave.
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