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April 5, 2016 / Retirementallychallenged.com

GratiTuesday: Flexibility

This past Sunday, I wrote a post about feeling a bit of ennui in my retirement. In general, things are going pretty great but I had started to feel that something was missing or incomplete, and I wondered if I needed to… I don’t know… do more.

I was heartened by the response my post received. It was nice to know that what I was feeling wasn’t unusual, in fact several commenters who are also retired shared that they had similar feelings, either now or in the past. I received lots of encouragement, advice, and some good suggestions.

One element that flowed through many of the comments was flexibility: to be open to opportunities that might present themselves, and to be willing to try out different things (and walk away if it isn’t a good fit). But, in addition, to appreciate the flexibility and free time that retirement provides.

Our 7 bridge hike began in beautiful Balboa Park.

Our 7 bridge hike began in beautiful Balboa Park.

Today, I had one of those days that reminded me of the how lucky I am that I my life affords me great flexibility and how important it will be to protect that luxury no matter what else I might choose to do.

When my husband and I woke up this morning and looked outside, we saw that the day had presented us with the perfect weather to go on an urban hike we had read about. There was a little bit of fog that would probably burn off as the day went on, but there was also some cloud cover that promised to keep the temperature from rising too high.

So, out went any plans we had made for the day and we started to get ready for our big adventure. At no time did we have to worry about schedules, obligations, or deadlines. No one was expecting us to show up anywhere or complete a promised project. We were free to do what we wanted.

I still want to look for opportunities to bring more balance into my retired life because I believe that it’s important to contribute and to challenge myself. But, I am very grateful that I have the freedom and flexibility that allows me to take advantage of a beautiful spring day and go for a walk.

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21 Comments

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  1. susan@marsha'sbungalow / Apr 6 2016 7:19 am

    Unplanned Walk days are the best, and – now that I think of it – one thing I never got to do when I worked. Thanks for the reminder of small things to be grateful for.

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Apr 6 2016 8:00 am

      I remember having to go to work on days that were simply sparkling and begging me to come outside and enjoy the weather. Although being retired doesn’t mean having absolutely no obligations or schedules, it’s nice to be able to take advantage of spur-of-the-moment opportunities.

  2. rporter610 / Apr 6 2016 7:52 am

    Glad you’re feeling better! Those periods of ennui come and go. Sometimes it’s due to the change of seasons, although where you are there isn’t a whole LOT of seasonal change. Flexibility is great, and is worth a lot of frugality to achieve.

    Rin

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Apr 6 2016 8:09 am

      I still feel that I’d like to explore opportunities to get involved in volunteer or cause-based activities, but I don’t want to replace the flexibility that retirement gives me with something that looks a lot like a full-time job. Balance is the key… maybe leaning a bit more towards the leisure side.

  3. joannesisco / Apr 6 2016 9:08 am

    … and that’s what it’s all about 🙂

  4. snakesinthegrass2014 / Apr 6 2016 10:25 am

    This is where your earlier thoughts are like rubber meeting the road. It’s all about flexibility and the options now at your disposal. Well said.

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Apr 6 2016 11:13 am

      My husband and I have a date book to keep all of our classes/appointments/events/trips/get togethers/etc. straight. Yikes! Whatever I find to do volunteer-wise has to be pretty flexible… we are booked!

  5. Carol Ferenc / Apr 6 2016 11:28 am

    Perfect! This is the way retirement is supposed to be, I think. Glad you followed your instincts and enjoyed the walk.

  6. dconnollyislandgmailcom / Apr 6 2016 3:15 pm

    Whatever you decide, Janis, please continue blogging regularly. I greatly look forward to your posts!
    Donna
    http://www.retirementreflections.com

  7. laura bruno lilly / Apr 6 2016 5:27 pm

    Sounds like you’re well on your way to figuring out what ‘balance in retirement’ means for you.

  8. Encore Voyage / Apr 7 2016 7:50 am

    …couldn’t have said it better! Carpe the hell out of this diem!

  9. Terri Webster Schrandt / Apr 7 2016 9:17 pm

    Living where you do, it would be so easy to find a scenic place to walk and enjoy the outdoors. Even being semi-retired for me at this point is awesome since I only have to be on campus 1.5 days a week. I think you are one of the most balanced retirees I know 🙂

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Apr 7 2016 10:08 pm

      Thank you Terri! I go back and forth… love, love my freedom, but maybe looking for something to sink my teeth into. The beauty is having the flexibility to pick and choose. 1.5 days a week sounds pretty good to me (although I know you put in more hours off campus too).

  10. lisadorenfest / Apr 17 2016 8:17 pm

    You’ve earned it. Enjoy!

    And you are right, flexibility to accept the opportunities that the universe throws our way is key to happiness (and lots of fun).

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Apr 17 2016 10:58 pm

      Flexibility and an open heart and mind to see the opportunities when they arrive. I am so lucky that I have the bandwidth to say yes… or no.

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