Whenever I meet new people, they ask the inevitable question: “so…. what do you do?”
And every time I say “I’m retired” I get a blank stare followed by one of three responses:
- the negative prediction: “that won’t last long”
- the declarative judgment: “you’re too young to be check out!” or
- the unsolicited encouragement: “don’t worry, you’ll find your next thing soon!”
I get it. I’m far younger than the traditional retiree so I don’t look the part. But these responses also reveal the many negative associations people have with the word “retirement”. I didn’t say I was checking out, giving up on meaningful activity, or wandering about without any purpose in life. But somehow my two word response triggers a deep well of negative perceptions.
I typically smile and push back gently by acknowledging that the first year of retirement was challenging because it required an intentional transition process. But on the other side of that inner work, being retired is pretty awesome. And that’s when curiosity takes over: “but, what do you do all day?!?”
I’m starting this blog to address these common questions and start a different type of conversation about retirement. I’ll share some of “what I do all day”, as well as our transition process, the new habits we’ve adopted, and the various ways we’ve worked to create a new life in retirement.
Thanks for reading!