I decided to retire at 55. I didn’t have a plan A or a B for what I would do once I got to Chicago. This much I knew though, I was going to move to Chicago eventually. I had purchased a condo there the year before, just a couple of weeks before my granddaughter was born. I purchased the condo thinking it would be a crash pad for when I drove up to see my daughter and her family. Living in it permanently was a long term plan. I didn’t expect my working conditions to turn to hell so quickly, but they did and I decided to take early retirement. My long term plan became a very short term reality.
Fast forward 6 years and I am flourishing, gratefully. I stumbled through these six years, bumping into many walls, most of which were my own making.
Recently, I delivered several webinars and workshops related to dealing with change in our lives. What started as an academic exercise, turned into a personal revelation. Turns out, my experience was a textbook case of transition.
The late Dr. William Bridges wrote that change is what happens and transition is how we process that change internally. His three step transition process starts with an ending. Retirement is this ending. Then comes the “neutral zone” which is one of confusion, but can also be one of creativity. The walls that I bumped against, all the shopping trips I made were a part of this confusion. My identity took a hit with retirement. If I wasn’t an Assistant VP at Ball State University, who was I? With a lot of luck and help, I finally figured this out and it has nothing to do with what I do for a living. The last stage of transition is the “new beginning.” I feel that I have finally am at this stage.
Join me in this series of posts as I try to articulate this process through both my personal experience and plenty of learning and reading. I hope you can find some useful kernels for your life.
#retirementcoaching #lifecoaching #lifetransition #managingchange