This is Good Bye From the Desk of Connie Jones

(June 2016)

In just a few days, I will be “retiring” from my job at SeniorsPlus. People have been asking – so what are you going to do next? How does it feel to be retiring? Well, to tell you the truth, I feel a bit scared! I’m excited, yes, I’m very sad, as I will miss my co-workers, but I’m a wee bit anxious about this big change. So I go back to my experts – people who have been there before me, my wise role models.

The other day I read: “Live each day like life was going to go on interminably.” So basically – don’t quit life now! Don’t give up on life this early, just keep taking part fully in life every day, like you were going to be around forever.

Along with that is the startling statistic that if you reached 65 and you’re pretty healthy, you can plan on another 30 years. Thirty years is a long time to sit around and rock in a chair, or smell the roses, or take naps! Instead there is enough time to reinvent yourself multiple times. My friend Nancy, at 60, decided to become a nurse practitioner. Now at 70, she is beginning to say – okay, maybe I should become a marine biologist next. Nancy’s well on her way to being like a cat with nine lives. I still have quite a few more to explore, for sure!

So if I have this much time left, it is an opportunity to challenge myself to things I never thought possible. Maybe my biggest barrier to overcome is my own self-perception. We make pretty strong statements about ourselves – “I don’t like working with my hands,” “I will never live in a city,” or “I hate cooking.” Hmmm. Maybe we need to challenge those boxes we’ve put ourselves in. We might be surprised at what we feel if we give it another chance.

My friends gave me one more piece of wisdom – every period of change and transition is a time of muddling. Life can feel fragile and like your world is tipping a bit. That is all normal. Just keep on muddling for a while longer, and if you’re open to the possibilities of change, a whole new exciting new life will appear.

Here’s to muddling and new lives!

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