I am pleased (and a little nervous) to be invited to participate in Donna’s Sunday Guest Post Series. The quality of the previous guest posts is both a blessing and a curse. I am honored to be included among them and afraid I may not live up to the precedent set. But fear be damned—here I go anyway! I trust the generous and intelligent nature of you, Donna’s readers, to find something worthwhile in my words.
You may quite naturally assume that a guest blogger on Retirement Reflections would be…well…retired. I hope it’s not a strike against me that I am not. I am still very much employed in a demanding full-time job. I am, in fact, writing this post as I eat lunch at my desk while trying desperately to ignore the email notifications that keep popping up on my screen. A bad habit, I know—one sure to lead to indigestion and typographical errors.
Still, retirement is in my not-too-distant future, and I am reflecting on that fact, so Donna’s invitation was not too far off the mark. I find myself in that strange transitional phase where one foot is planted solidly in the workplace while the other foot surreptitiously dips a toe in the retirement water—just to prepare myself for what’s to come. (Perhaps that metaphor is off-base, as I haven’t tested the waters myself. What I’ve been doing is more like calling from the shore, “How’s the water?” to anyone who has taken the plunge.) The realization that, after a lifetime of striving for the next big goal, I was in all likelihood at the pinnacle of my career and that I had no idea what came next led me to blogging. (That’s normal, isn’t it—when the earth shifts under your feet and you’re caught totally off balance, journal about it in a highly public fashion?)
The original intention for So What? Now What? was threefold:
1) Work out what I want to do in the post-career phase of my life…discover what I want to be when I finally really grow up.
2) Provide a new challenge now. Something that would stretch and energize me like career advancement used to, while also motivating me to write creatively each day. And do this all without overwhelming my limited free time and brain cells.
3) Engage with people. Make new connections, strengthen existing ones, share some laughs, and learn from each other…whether that be through inspirational examples or cautionary tales.
I started out trying to follow the blogging rule to maintain a narrow focus, carefully connecting each post to finding new passions and transitioning to retirement. But each time I started writing, the thing that kept coming up was the need to live more in the moment, stop overthinking everything, loosen my grip. So, this life-long rule follower has started letting each post go wherever my heart and mind take it…for better or for worse. I know it runs against conventional wisdom, and I suspect it makes for a bumpier ride—for me and for you—but for now, it feels right.
So if you’re up for an unconventional blog or just a new connection, I’d love for you to check out So What? Now What? Leave a comment, and I will respond. If you’re also a blogger, I’ll pay a visit to your site as well. Who knows, it could be the start of a beautiful friendship. Christie.
From Retirement Reflections: I greatly appreciate Christie guest hosting on my site today — which is also my birthday! 🙂 I always love reading Christie’s candid thoughts, insights and questions, especially as she begins to consider her retirement. If you have not previously visited her blog, I highly recommend it to you. For next week, our guest host will be the author of ‘Travels with Fran.’ I am sure that you will enjoy these travels as much I do. I look forward to seeing you there!