When I think about my upcoming retirement I have a bucket full, no, a cauldron full of emotions! There is an emotional catch-all category of “not knowing” that fills my cauldron.
Within the emotional category of “not knowing” anxiety, excitement, fear, reluctance, uncertainty, joy, and sadness all share the same space. It’s hard to feel all these emotions at once!
Sometimes I even feel guilty for having reservations about retiring when I speak about it to people who wish they could retire. Other times I feel confused about my ambivalence because I’m so certain that this is the right decision. It’s just that I don’t know exactly what this new phase of my life will be like, so I’m uncomfortable. Other times I get a rush of happiness contemplating a future waking up in the morning to a myriad of possibilities, all waiting for me to choose which one I’ll try on for the day.
I have four new precious young lives that are intertwined with mine. I have a fifth grandchild coming as well. I look forward to continuing to learn the art of being from them.
I think a lot of my ambivalence comes from the meaning we’ve given the word retirement. The word even sounds “tired.” When I looked up the word at https://en.wiktionary.org, I found more reasons to not like the word:
1: To stop working on a permanent basis, usually because of old age or illness.
2: To withdraw; to take away.
3: To cease use or production of something.
4: To withdraw from circulation.
5: To designate as no longer qualified for active service; to place on the retired list. The board retired the old major.
6: To go back or return; to draw back or away; to keep aloof; to withdraw or retreat, as from observation; to go into privacy I will retire to the study. To retire from the world, to retire from the public eye.
I don’t want to retire from the world. I don’t want to retire from the public eye. I have an important message I feel compelled to share. My purpose in life is to love myself and to help other people to love themselves.
I’ve worried that when I retire and people ask me what I do, I will lose value when I say, “I’m retired.” My ego tells me that my value comes from what I do, not who I am. It’s hard for me to separate these from one another sometimes.
Why am I retiring?
My best answer is I’m retiring from my private practice because I’m trusting that soft, strong, persistent voice that tells me, “Michelle there is something else for you. Trust life, step through the threshold. There is a whole new life waiting for you. It’s time.”
Blessings on your Self-Love Diet Journey,
Michelle Minero MFT
This self-love post was inspired by a 31-Day Self-Love Diet Writing Challenge prompt. Join us, and make self-love your New Year’s resolution this year!