Principles of an Exciting and Fulfilling Retirement

Principles of an Exciting and Fulfilling Retirement

After fifteen years of retirement I find myself thinking a lot about the components contributing to an exciting and fulfilling retirement. Reflecting on my own experiences,, observing others and, in a couple of cases, reading what others have said has caused a number of principles to begin to emerge from the mist. In this series of blogs I will consider each of these principles, one at a time, and share thoughts.

As a research scientist early in my career, I used to write up experimental results for publication. I was often struck by the unintended misperception that the final report made the scientific process look very linear and efficient. The process, in fact, always took a zig-zag path with many false leads before getting to the published result. Well the same is true here. This is a messy zig-zag process still taking unexpected turns. This is a snapshot in time. Here is the list as I envision it today:

  • “Ain’t it funny how your new life didn’t change things…”
  • Take control of your attitude (Frankel, “Mans Search for Meaning”)
  • Cultivate a wide variety of friends (Warner, “Get a Life…”)
  • Give rein to your passions
  • Engage in volunteer work for selfish and altruistic reasons
  • Make time for exercise
  • Connect with nature
  • Never stop being a humble student
  • Live purposefully (Krone)
  • Keep moving: physically, mentally, spiritually, socially
  • Think about a change of interests or venue as a means of renewal

Come back in ensuing weeks to see how each of these principles develop and play out. I would love to hear how these principles resonate, or are in conflict, with your own experiences.

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