After a 6-week hiatus from writing the blog, I’m back now and I am full of it.
What I’m experiencing is brand new for me. I can actually feel an acute revelation of an exciting life transition. Tis true. I know my life is changing: the past has past and what lies ahead requires new thinking and doing and being. I genuinely feel myself emerging from a temporarily dormant cocoon into another evolved being.
First Impressions of Life Change
A new paradigm begins. I have only glimpses of what that will look like: travel, writing, worldwide charity, and community service. And, I may return to coaching executives or individuals. Who knows? The answer will be obvious in its time.
In my six weeks off I have come to a handful of significant observations about life. Here are a couple of my ideas. First, let’s get one thing straight: I refuse to refer to the word retirement. That’s reserved for old people:) Instead I like to say that I have more “Discretionary Time.”
There are huge problems with increased Discretionary Time – Boredom and Uselessness. These two bastard sons were spawned by mating a youthful mentality with a body, mind, and soul of an older guy. Don’t get me wrong. I have a ton of energy. I just don’t want to do what I used to do, but I’m not so sure how to replace a once busy and hectic calendar. Enter feelings of boredom and uselessness.
It’s important to note that neither of these problems is reserved for older folks. In fact, both are most common for anyone experiencing significant loss—people with job loss, loss of a lover, or moving to a new city (or country). Any kind of disassociation with close friends or church or other groups can incite feelings of uselessness and/or isolation.
Such are the mental realities of major Life Change.
I’ve read a handful of books, talked with people, prayed, and devoted much time to simply pondering the issues. Pondering: the lost art of deeply centered private thought. Man I love pondering.
So. What Now?
And what good has it done? A bunch.
- I have clearly identified the crisis—my metamorphic journey into a new season of life.
- I have clearly articulated the problems associated with the crisis: boredom and uselessness.
- I have more clearly defined my search for meaningful activities that do some social good and also provide private pleasure. (More on that to come.)
- Five values have emerged that will serve as guidelines to my next adventure. These are huge to me. In fact, I reread them regularly as a reminder of what my day should look like.
- Build opportunities for connectedness and understand the danger of isolation.
- Listen to my inner voice of curiosity, change and freedom.
- Continue regular deep thought and reflection.
- Honor my creativity.
- Constantly practice the art of mindfulness or being fully present in whatever I am doing.
Okay, okay. I haven’t forgotten my family, friends, and mortgage. I’m still American—whatever that may mean after these crazy elections.
For the next few weeks I’ll post more on the five values for an active life of meaning and service. And oh… it’s fun to be back!
Life Offers Too Many Opportunities
Bored or Useless
Photo courtesy of oatawa at istockphoto