Retirement: Over-Indulgences that Lead to Habits

My husband and I have a sweet 110+ pound Labrador Retriever.  When our dog, Ranger, developed a little ear infection, I took him to his veterinarian. The vet gave me a prescription for Ranger’s ear infection and a strong recommendation to quit overfeeding him. All I feed the dog is one cup of “fat dog” kibbles twice a day. Of course, I put a small amount of chicken breast on top of his food for flavor. I also feed him green beans for snacks—oh, and I do give him dog chews and dog treats after we take walks. And maybe…

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Uncluttering and Discovering Hidden Treasures

Funny thing about sheltering in place—I have not been able to escape all the clutter I’ve collected over the years. Why did I save a dozen empty vases and then store them on top of shelves and cabinets? Why did I have a stack of bedding sitting on a chair and a closet so full that I couldn’t squeeze more bedding inside? Why did I have a bookshelf full of old textbooks from graduate school? Why did I have a double bed in a spare bedroom when I only needed a single and a fold-out for an occasional grandchild visit?…

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My New and Better Life Outside the Box

We found our ‘forever’ puppy seven years ago. He was the last of a litter. When we first saw him, he was living in a 4 x 6 wooden box with a smaller box inside for sleeping. He was eager to play with us as long as he could stay inside his box. But when we took him outside for a taste of real freedom and an opportunity to explore the world around him, he froze. As confining as it was, his box was all he knew. Once we took him home, it took time for him to recognize that…

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Seize the Day: Live Without Regrets

I like to have goals and plans in place for each day and the years ahead. At the same time, I recognize how important it is to be flexible and adjust to ever-changing circumstances. To seize each day to the fullest, I have to stay both motivated and focused—especially during the uncertainty of a global pandemic. I have plenty of friends who are still working in organizations and businesses that have provided them with opportunities to complete work from home. After ending my formal teaching career, I no longer have others’ expectations governing how I use much of my day.…

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Finding New Meaning in Ordinary Moments

Having a regular job is supposed to give us a sense of purpose—something that motivates us to get up each morning. Retirement literature suggests that once we leave the workplace, many of us will end up struggling to find meaning in our lives. Motivational writers and speakers might tell us that each of us must find our purpose, our meaning in life—especially after retirement—if we want to be happy and fulfilled.It has been nearly a year (11 months and one week) since I officially ‘retired’ from my full-time teaching career. I loved teaching and did feel it gave me a…

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Acts of Self-Empowerment for Third Chapter Success

I recently came across a 2015 article about aging and self-empowerment. Paul Irving, the author of the article was arguing that “standing up to negative age bias can be a powerful first step toward having a fulfilling and productive Third Chapter of Life.”It is important that we recognize and work to counter negative attitudes about aging in the workplace and in our communities. Negative attitudes about aging can create roadblocks in the workplace and in communities. Even more challenging is that once we start picking up on negative attitudes about our age, we are more likely to internalize those attitudes.…

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An Evolving Identity after Retirement

I officially ‘retired’ and left my teaching career ten months ago. I strongly identified with my career and wondered how I would adjust to my new life. Several of the books I had read about transitioning into retirement had talked about the struggle most people have with the loss of their identity. For the first few months after starting my new life, I wondered when my identity crisis was going to hit; it never happened. Instead, my identity has evolved since leaving my career. An Evolving Identity I suspect that part of the reason I don’t feel like I’ve lost…

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An Action Plan for Your Best Future Self

Part 10 – Your Action Plan for Your Best LifeThis is the last of our article series on preparing for your best life after leaving a fulltime career. In this final article, we’ll work on sharpening your vision for the life you hope to lead in the future.First, if you missed any of our previous articles, you can link to them at the bottom of this article. If you have been following along over the past nine weeks, let’s jump right into our discussion about ways you can sharpen your vision and move forward.Your Vision for the FutureIf you don’t…

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Living Our Best Lives Now and In the Future

Living Our Best Lives – Part 6One of my dear friends has been very busy running a business and teaching part-time at a college. At seventy, she’s hoping to sell her business to free up some of her time. While she still plans to teach because it is deeply satisfying for her, she also intends to explore some of her own interests including possibly learning how to tap dance. It's time for all of us to start thinking about how we can live our best lives now and in the future.It’s Time to Explore PossibilitiesOnce we enter our fifties, we…

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Social Connections Matter

Part 5 – Social Connections MatterWhen we are still employed, it is often our co-workers who are our go-to lunch companions or after-work ‘wine and whine’ friends. We may feel close to some of these individuals, but once we leave our careers, most of those connections we enjoyed usually fade away rather quickly. Yet social connections matter!Longevity and retirement research emphasize the importance of social connections for our mental and physical well-being. And while women tend to develop social networks a bit more easily than some men do, it usually takes some effort and planning for most all people to…

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