Retiring Well

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The idea of living without the bells that tightly structured my life for so many years filled a daydream or two. How free I would surely feel, going and doing, or not going and doing, following my heart’s longings and my mind’s tuggings!

A gal pal of mine asked my advice for a summer sabbatical in her future. I can always spout off info I have read so I did just that, based on the printed word, not my experiences. For some reason she thinks I do it well.

Total lack of structure isn’t quite as liberating as it might first seem. Procrastination is my middle name, but, in the complete void of deadlines, procrastination can disappear into the black hole of nothingness. Some tasks/plans never materialize without an endpoint in the process.

So what am I learning about retirement from its midst?  For me, it is a batter of routine, flexibility, passion and discovery, with added pinches of mystery and surprise to ward off hints of boredom.

Routines promote health by allowing time for rest and nourishment and giving a sense of stability. Otherwise, with all the flexibility at their fingertips, retirees might seem irresponsible going hither and yon anytime, involved in formerly neglected beloved activities and experimenting with the unfamiliar.

What-ifs can become why-nots. Skills and talents can develop into passions. Discovery can invite adventure. Never-ending to-do lists can suffocate it all, tempting us to postpone life until… Perhaps the key to embracing retirement is embracing balance.

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About Teresa Pearson Lee

Retired after 33 years of teaching English and French (one year in private school in Memphis, TN and the rest in public school in Doniphan, MO. Enjoying new adventures - all those things I put off for lack of time, energy, now I can try them! Pottery, writing, traveling, camping, kayaking, dancing, listening to some of the best live music ever, and making lively new friendships. All christened with an appreciation for great red wine! Created and operated KC's on the Current, then sold it and managed it for new owners. You might still find me at the reservation desk when spring rolls around. Born and raised in St. Louis, MO near The Hill. Though a transplant to Southeast Missouri, still a city gal at the core with a deep love of the natural resources in these Ozark foothills. Currently I am a content coordinator for Poplar Bluff Living Magazine and a columnist/stringer for the local weekly The Prospect News. My rescue Siamese helps with most of the proofreading; he has a great ear. I relish the solitude easily had in the Mark Twain Forest but thoroughly enjoy lively outings for music, wine, conversation close to home or in my beloved hometown. Technology is my greatest challenge but so worth the shared connections. There may be a need for solitude but there is little loneliness. The material in this blog written by Teresa Lee is her property and cannot be used without express written consent to do so.
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