Compass Military
Compass Military

The Compass of Your Life – Part I

A compass is an instrument that shows direction. We can look at it and tell whether we are traveling north, east, south or west. While we don’t have such an instrument to tell the direction in which our lives are headed, we can set up some parameters to help guide our lives in the direction we want to go.

I speak as a once-retired now back-to-work person who discovered that full retirement did not suit me. If you are retired or thinking of retiring, these three areas should be given careful consideration. I will address them in three separate segments.

*Family

*Personal

*Financial

Part 1: Retirement & Family

Retirement is a phenomenon that many of our fore parents were not able to enjoy. Too many of them worked until they died because they couldn’t afford to retire. We now have the luxury of retirement, but are we enjoying it?  Frequently people retire and don’t plan what they will do with this extra time that was devoted to work for many years. If you are newly retired, I’m sure you find that there are some extra hours in your day.  You may or may not have filled those hours with things that you want to do. On the other hand, if you have been retired for some time,  you have probably filled those extra hours or someone has filled them for you.  Retirement should be about doing things that you want to do that you have not been able to do while you were working.  As a retiree, there should be more time available for you to work on maintaining relationships with family members that you were not able to do while you were working.  This could include your spouse, children, grandchildren or siblings.  Notice I said there should be more time available, but that may not be the case because most retired people I know are busier after retirement than they were when they were working.  It is just how you allocate your time.

In addition to being retired yourself, your spouse may also be retired.  For those of you who are in that situation, I’m sure it took some adjustments for both of you to get the used to  spending more time in each other’s presence.  When you were both working or if only one of you was working, it was not an issue.  Now there may be too much togetherness.  I have the most wonderful husband but sometimes I want my space and he wants his.  Wanting separate space has absolutely nothing to do with how you feel toward each other.  Instead, it’s called respecting each other’s territory.

However, if you plan to spend more time together you may discover that you have similar interests that neither of you had taken time to discover.  In my own case, my husband and I enjoy many of the same things.  We love to travel; we both play golf and we are involved in church activities.  However, we don’t smother each other.  We play golf together sometimes, but I also have my group and he has his.  He has his club activities and I have my club activities.  We sometimes watch the same television shows and sometimes we watch separate shows.

These are just a few tidbits of some things to consider as you include family in your retirement. Be creative as you think of retirement and family but find positive ways to build or improve relationships with both family and friends.

I would love to hear your comments, concerns or experiences with this Retirement and Family. Stick around for Part 2: Personal

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