One of the greatest joys of growing older is reclaiming the child-like ability to have fun. You really don’t care how silly you look any longer.
When I retired and moved back to my “roots”, I had a rude awakening. I had forgotten how to have fun! Nothing really gave me true pleasure. Talk about depressing!
All I had done for 35 years was hold down six different jobs – (sometimes two at a time), move around the country, and raise children. I had no hobbies and no simple pleasures in my life – well, except for my morning coffee.
With free time and a calendar that wasn’t full of to-dos that included save the world, and get two children through college, I found my creative funny bone and reclaimed the ability to have fun.
If you are retiring and finding yourself with a rusty “funny bone” – try the following exercise which is what got me moving in the right direction when I retired.
“My List of FUN”
Set a timer or look at the clock and for 10 minutes write as fast as you can, without editing, all the fun things you love. Don’t think! Just Write. Don’t judge, don’t give yourself time to wonder if ‘that’s not all that fun’ or ‘that’s not a good idea’ or even ‘that’s stupid’. Just let the thoughts fly onto the page as fast as your brain can spit them out.
Write down anything and everything you think is fun. Big and small – dumping peanuts in a coke, tripling the bubble bath, swinging in the park, reading a great murder mystery, lunch with friends, a new pair of fabulous shoes or dancing with no one watching.
When your ten minutes are over, survey your list of FUN. What can you do today to add to the list? What needs a little more planning?
Your mission,( if you choose to accept it) is to pick one thing per week and give yourself some unbridled joy. One thing, every single week. Some weeks it will be something big, others it will be something very simple. A really good cup of coffee in the morning, a piece of rich, decadent chocolate.
When you do this, you will find that even the simple things will take on more meaning and trust me, you won’t miss your career at all!