I realize there’s something incredibly honest about trees in winter, how they’re experts at letting things go.
In response to a number of comments to the post on “Downsizing,” I’ve decided to address a few interesting issues regarding “Letting Go.”
I am starting to realize that the key to living a happy, fulfilling retirement is not just about what you add into your life, it’s also about what you let go of.
Let’s start at the beginning. When we left our life in Florida and journeyed to Ohio, I never realized that this move was a major “letting go” experience for me. Relocating was just part of a new journey. And this new journey led me to Bristol Village.
In my head, I was not retired, just on a temporary vacation. So I really didn’t have a sense of loss or emptiness from leaving my job, friends, or home. Don’t get me wrong, I do miss many things I left behind…the beautiful Florida sunsets, the beaches, the sun…and the list goes on. But I do believe that because I became so involved in the community right from the start, I didn’t have much time to think about this issue.
But many do. There is no right way to transition into this new phase of your life. However, Nancy Schlossberg has identified five different models that describe how many people craft this stage of their lives:
- Continuers: These people continue to be involved in some of their previous activities, but often package them in different ways.
- Adventurers: Individuals who start new endeavors, learn new skills, and organize their time and space in new ways are in this group.
- Searchers: Trying out new options, learning through trial and error, stopping and starting over are characteristics of these people.
- Easy Gliders: Going with the flow and being open to anything is a way to describe those with this approach.
- Retreaters: People with this approach may be disengaging from life and giving up.
Some people take one of the above approaches and continue that throughout their lives. Schlossberg notes that most people are combinations of the above. At varying times in retirement there is movement back and forth through several of the models.
How have you transitioned into retirement? What has motivated you to let go of things? I’d love to hear different opinions on this issue.
What are you willing to let go of?
As always, I am…the Boomer Explorer.