One of the problems I have faced with retirement is the question “Where are the milestones?” I have up until retirement gauged most of my life by its milestones. They go something like this:
- Starting School
- My first communion
- Becoming a teenager
- Getting my driver’s license
- Graduating high school
- Deciding on college
- Being able to drink “legally”
- Graduating college
- Getting my first full time job
- Getting married
- Getting my first promotion
Ok, so now I am at the last milestone on the list. What comes next? What is there to look forward to now? I have viewed my whole life around milestones. As I was progressing through these milestones retirement was always the last one on the list. When I entered retirement the main question was “Now what??” Yes, I had dreamed about not having to get up every morning and give the better part of my day to my employer. Even though I enjoyed most of my employment years this was still on my mind. I did go through a period in my early retirement years where “now what?” really started depressing me!
So what came next that I didn’t foresee beyond this list? Of course that is up to each of us to determine. For me a big part of it is”Giving Back”. Even though I have had my share of hardships I was always aware that there were many others who had it much worse than I did. I was deaf but what about those who were both deaf and blind! I couldn’t imagine who they coped! I always had a good paying job. What about those who were not fortunate enough to have gone to college or the many who rode the employment/layoff cycle throughout their lives. Some at times struggled just to put a simple meal on their family table.
So a big addition to my milestone list is helping other who do not have it as good as I do. I spend a considerable amount of my time now giving back. These are some of the most enjoyable moments of my life. Of course there are also things like traveling and hobbies but in my mind although they are fun they don’t deserve a milestone category rating. I have a few other milestones on the list now but they will have to wait for a future post before I reveal them. Of course the obvious final milestone on my or anyone else’s list is going to meet my maker. But I guess I am like most people I really want to go to heaven but I don’t want to have to die to get there 🙂
And the journey goes on…..
3 thoughts on “Where are the Milestones??”
Good question — “Where are the milestones?” Clearly it’s possible for the retiree to develop new milestones…. related to volunteer work, or learning to cross-country ski. Or starting a new enterprise (large or small), or writing a book. Not all of the milestones need be in the past. Bill
Bill, thanks for the comment. I love your blog. You have truly found that there are milestones after retirement! I tend to separate life’s milestones from simply getting personal enjoyment from life/retirement. Milestones, especially in retirement, are what gives our life meaning. That is not to say that doing something simply for enjoyment is not honorable but it must be secondary. I see your retirement life is filling with both and that is great. I will keep and eye on you, via visits to your blog, in the coming years.
I appreciate your kind words about my blog. Bill