Saturday, April 2, 2016

Life's New Chapter: The Three Phases Of Retirement

In recent months, I have begun to take the first steps towards a new chapter in my life.  

Although the steps I'm taking aren't as entertaining as this flamenco dancer (Sevilla, Spain), I am still very happy to be taking them. :)

Soon after turning 16 years old, I applied for a work permit and got a summer job trimming pineapples at the Dole Canning Factory in Hawaii.  I couldn't wait to start working, because it was a way to earn my own money and to experience a tiny bit of financial independence. For 6 summers I worked at the factory earning some extra cash. My mom worked there too, as a packer when she first immigrated to Hawaii. 

We were so fortunate to have the best parents in the universe who supported us both financially and emotionally to pursue our dreams. Throughout college I continued to work part time at the student union and/or fast food establishments, anything to earn some extra cash.   

Once I graduated I was lucky to find my calling and came to work for the City of Los Angeles where this year I will have worked for 32 years. Two years ago, I attended a retirement seminar to help me prepare for this upcoming new chapter in my life.  It was pretty informative. The lecturer spoke of mental preparations, allowance calculations and health benefits. It turns out that so much is deducted from my check while working that if I were to retire, I could actually take home more now without those usual deductions. Who knew.

Somehow I thought that the mental preparation was going to be easy and I was confident that I would be more than ready for this transition. As a joke, I told co-workers that when the time came, they would not be able to put the fires left by me feet running out the door fast enough. But now that I am at the threshold of making this transition, it feels a bit scary. Since I was 16 I have worked non-stop and so part of me can't imagine not having to work. On the other hand there is a HUGE part of me that says I'm sure that I'll get used to it. Ha, ha!  The lecturer said that there are three phases after one retires.

First, there are the Go Go years where you'll be very active, going places, doing things you never had time to do because of work. This phase lasts about 10 years. I can see me really enjoying this phase a lot. :)  

And then there are the Reflective years where you tend to slow down and reflect more on your life. If I was sitting in this photo sipping a margarita and doing some reflecting, I think I'm going to enjoy this phase a lot too.  :)

And finally there are the Care Giving years where god willing I'll remain healthy throughout.

My motto in recent years has been to enjoy every moment more than ever, don't let the "little" things bother me, appreciate the people (family & friends) in my life, and live each day to the fullest.  

As I move to transition to this new chapter in my life I will continue to live my motto, I will continue to dream, and to be honest even in my Go Go years I think it would be cool to enjoy a bit of "il dolce far niente" (the Sweetness of Doing Nothing).

And to kick off my Go Go years phase, I'll be heading to Spain to walk the Camino de Santiago! Whoo Hoo!  

No comments:

Post a Comment

It's me Trekcapri (aka Kathy). Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment.