Jane’s Journey “Reflection”
Jane’s Journey is about my transition into an adventure within my “hereafter” or my “from now on” of this big, new and unknown space and a place called retirement. I am sharing my experiences to give wisdom and help when it is your time and also hear from you if you have already found your place and space in your hereafter of retirement.
Retirement – The realizing and engaging of times, ideas and realms of possibility that your heart looks for and your mind images but never tasted of, until now on.
As I entered the second quarter of “Hereafter”, I am reflecting on the journey of my first three months.
Reflection comes from the root word “reflex” or “to bend back”. A time to pause and bend or look back is so healthy for our mind, soul, body, and spirit. Reflection takes time and strength of emotions, but it proves to be so beneficial to the present and future crafting of our life and legacy.
Reflection – I was so relieved to retire.
Relief is not excitement. Everyone was asking me if I was excited about retiring, and my answer before it happed was yes, but after it actually happened my raw honest response was, I am relieved! Relief indicates that a real pressure, pain or discomfort was present and that the removal of that is the feeling of relief.
When feeling relief, you are not thinking about what’s next or planning new things, you are just so full of, “I am glad it is over”. Well, that was me for most of the last three months. I was just glad that I did not have to do the job, answer the call, respond to the emails; while trying to make the impossible happen because it was the right thing to do even without the support and resources needed. RELIEF!
It has only been the last few weeks, even during this virus crisis, that I have relaxed enough to find enjoyment bubbling up and relief fading into the background of life. I did not really know how tired I was, how stressed I was and how hopeless I had become emotionally, until living these months without it.
So the feeling has gone from relief to enjoyment. That sweet place of finding out what I enjoy doing and being able to do so, as it becometh me. I know I am not the only person that feels they have had a blessed life, a good life, but did not find enjoyment in much of what they did daily. That was me, so now finding what brings enjoyment, and then making those new things a reality takes prayer, reflection, planning, and intentional living daily. Which I am still learning.
Reflection – I was not as prepared as I thought I was.
Oh, I am embarrassed to admit and say that as much as I read, journaled and listen to counsel, I was not as prepared as I thought for hereafter. Financially the plan is working, but the preparation for daily life has not worked as I thought because I did not take into consideration how much adjustment I would face in NOT HAVING TO BE AT MY DESK AT 8:00 am, or taking an hour for lunch, and being able to not get out of bed in the morning at 5:30.
The adjustment from a demanding job to the hereafter was bigger and more entangled with all of my life than I thought. Planning meals, house cleaning, laundry, etc. All of these simple tasks of life take longer and have far less pressure to get done, and that is uncomfortable for this aging planner. I do not need to plan so much, and that has caused me to feel unprepared. I mixture of planning and living is a precious life I am learning step by step, grace upon grace and lessons learned along the way.
Reflection – I am enjoying the slow down much more than I thought I would.
Even though I feel unprepared for the unplanned daily life, I am enjoying taking everything slower, much to my surprised. I enjoy waking up slowly, making my bed slowly, arranging my bed pillows slowly and taking the time to make my breakfast and eat in my easy chair instead of at my desk, processing 80-120 emails.
Slowing down does not come naturally to me, but intentionally slowing down has really helped me to embrace the enjoyment of my days and the gratitude of each morning.
This morning I rested in bed after I awoke and looked out my bedroom window noticing how beautifully the morning sun rests on each and every slat of the plantation blinds. In the background, I had music playing and I gave thanks to the Lord for this morning and the beauty of music. That slow-moving gave me such breathe to arise and look into the day with enjoyment.
Reflection – I am rusty at connecting for no purpose or goal.
I talked with people every day when I worked. I engaged and built relationships with co-workers, managers, customers, and vendors; and it was easy and it was automatic because that was part of what made me good at what I did.
I realize that as good as I was at that, I became very rusty at connecting without a reason or purpose. Just connecting for the pure enjoyment of that interaction. Over the last 15 years, I only connected with a handful of people that were not part of what I did for a living. And now all daily connections are no longer my connections, and I feel like I forgot how to connect just for the joy of it. I really want to regain that gift of connection for conversation, engagement, and enjoyment.
My time of reflection was so enriching to me and it has revealed a little more of what my “hereafter” is going to look like as this year unfolds. For now, I can say I am embracing this slower lifestyle and my interactions will again pursue the joy of life and crafting my legacy as it becometh me.
Here are some review actions and prompts that I use during times of reflection that have helped me to recall and document achievements, disappointments, and opportunities taken and missed, along with lessons learned. I pray they help you execution profitable times of reflection.
Actions are defined as activities or steps taken to make progress to a predetermined end or process.
- Review calendar for appointments and meetings notes.
- Review journals for insights that shape future planning.
- Review goals for lessons learned.
- Review my relationships with God, family & friends.
- Review the projects list for completed or rescheduling of tasks.
- Review and document expenses planned and unplanned.
Prompts are defined as a word or phrase spoken that produces light that serves as a reminder.
- What was my greatest area of accomplishment?
- What was my most meaningful interaction?
- What did I spend time doing that I do not want to do again?
- What do I feel I want to invest time in to gain knowledge or skill?
- Who do I need to express gratitude to?
- What is the biggest change I want to see in the next quarter? Why?
- Who do I want to connect with more in the next quarter? Why?
- What changes need to be made in how I use my time, energy and finances?
- How can I be a blessing in the next quarter?
I pray these action steps and prompts help you reflect within your own life and experiences. No matter when your retirement or hereafter begins, or if it already has, I encourage you to share your life experiences in whatever becometh you.
I am writing here because I want to inspire, stir, awaken and encourage us all to engage with what is in your heart to enjoy and with the simplicity of crafting your hereafter daily, as it becometh you.
To read the first blog post of my life “hereafter”, click here.
Until next time, remember we craft our legacy daily, do it as it becometh you.
This Post Has 4 Comments
Loved this post. Although I am not retired, I am preparing for my second act. The prompts and reflections really spoke to me. Something to revisit often at any new stage in life!
Deb, thanks much for the encouragement. I am blessed that my reflections of my season ministered to you.
Thank you Jane, for sharing your reflections, prompts and action steps from the 1st quarter of your hereafter! I’ll be 65 thid year and looking at my hereafter right now, so your article is very helpful as I’m looking at my next. Continued blessings on your Journey!
Hey Johanna, Thanks for your encouragement. We will have to stay in touch as you enter your hereafter. God’s plan is rarely ours, but it is always better.