When the topic of retirement comes up with our retirement-age friends, the same response is repeated, “But I don’t play golf.” This seems to be the established refrain. Maybe you’ve heard it too.
When did playing golf become synonymous with retirement? Is the ability to play pre-requisite for retiring? Or is it just an easy way of disengaging with the entire topic and process? It seems that there are endless choices for staying relevant and involved in retirement, with or without playing golf. And each of us discovers our own way along a chosen or imposed path, with curiosity and compassion, trial and error, like any other stage of life.
Gone are the days for those of us approaching 65, when time was structured with children’s schedules, or with our own work schedules. Freedom to make new choices can be an impediment when facing the transition to retirement. There can be too many choices immobilizing us with indecision, or we can’t decide at all, seeing no option except to continue working.
After years in the same routine, working is predictable, often satisfying, and there’s continued enjoyment in seniority and financial benefits. When unexpected layoffs occur and we’re caught without a plan, some suddenly discover a completely unfamiliar situation, like Alice finding herself in Wonderland. For others, embracing the freedom that retirement or semi-retirement affords, begin exploring new paths at home or on the road. Some choose to structure days or vacations babysitting grandchildren, near or far away.
Grateful to have good health late in life, my husband and I continue to explore together and on our own in semi-retirement. As of now, these paths haven’t included playing golf although we occasionally stop by the driving range for fun. Writing for MainLine Neighbors offered a new and interesting trajectory for me in semi-retirement after a long career.
It would be so much easier if someone just told us what to do. Since that’s not a realistic option and we’re not likely to listen, choices remain. We can choose to do what we’ve always done or a combination of old paths and new. Or we can choose to step bravely into uncertainty and see what that feels like, exploring options limited only by our energy and imagination.
Bringing my own A game,