40,000-49,999 SparkPoints 45,227

Dreams and Downsizing for Empty Nesters

Friday, October 11, 2019

I watched a YouTube video this morning which struck a chord.

I retired a couple of years ago and have been redesigning my life accordingly.

It's a strange time.

I hopefully have years ahead of me. What am I going to do with them all?

When I was younger, there was a pattern to life. I went to school, went out to work, got married, had children. All of those things were pretty standard. A lot of people do them. There's a framework. A routine. A pattern to follow. My Mum and Dad had done the same things. My friends were doing the same things.

Retirement though?

It seems like there are lots of different ways to be retired.

Some people care for grandchildren, volunteer, socialise, enjoy hobbies, take up a sport, get involved in local politics, go travelling. Me? Well those things are either irrelevant to me or I've done them earlier in life, got them out of my system.

We downsized a few years ago after the children left home and we lost other members of the family. In the video, Deidre talks about how negative this time can feel. It feels like an ending. We are getting rid of the things that used to be so important to us. Things that made our home feel like home.

Yet, as she says, this can be a time to reconnect with our dreams.

When we were young children we could be ourselves, with our own dreams and ideas.

As we got older, we started to learn to fit in with other people's needs, expectations, standards.

But now? Well now we have time to think again about those chidlhood dreams.

As Deidre says, we may develop those dreams in different ways at this time of life than we would have done when young. She suggests baby steps.

Perhaps we wanted to go to university and get a degree, but couldn't do it. So now perhaps we could take a course online or at the local college. And there is no pressure to turn that into a career, to make a living from it, to reach a certain standard. We can just do it for interest, for fun.

Perhaps we wanted to be a vet. Well now perhaps we could volunteer at an animal shelter or be a foster carer for stray dogs. We still get that same sense of caring for animals and we get the satisfaction of looking after them, but we don't have to take it to the level that we would have needed when we were deciding on a career.

Deidre describes this as a time to dig deep in yourself to find your own authentic dreams.

We spend so much of our life contorting ourselves to fit in with other people's needs - those of our partner, boss, children, elderly relatives - that we may have forgotten what those childhood dreams were.

I found her thoughts inspiring, so I'm off to dig... who knows what I might find!

Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • MAREE1953
    Interesting perspective! At 66, I'm still working, and finding it fulfilling, appreciating 4 weeks of vacation and 10 paid holidays (calling that "semi retired after prior 30+ yr career). I immerse myself with longevity research podcasts, especially Dr Peter Attia and Dr Jason Fung. Healthspan, not just lifespan. Love the dream ideas you mention too!
    99 days ago
    so true i had plans for when i retire but i have low vision that is only going to get worse. so already no driving and i am not even retirement age, so i really am going to have to dig deep but i will and right now am doing what i can until things get worse, Hugs for a great blog,
    100 days ago
    100 days ago
    Very interesting and thought provoking. It has been three years since I retired and definitely a new chapter. Like you, a lot of those things I have done and many hold no interest for me now. But I did discover other things that I began to develop and fill my time with pleasure while using my mind in a creative way. At this stage of life, I feel it is a time well earned from years of work and service to others, and now it is a time to find what brings happiness to you. Thanks for sharing. emoticon
    100 days ago
  • MAIN4ME15
    Sounds like you're headed in a great direction! I hope you find many new adventures. I, too, am in a similar time of life. My struggle has the added limited budget and lack of motivation. The lack of motivation is the biggest mountain.
    100 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.