I am not referring to a “bucket list.” Don’t have one or need one. Much has been written about the dangers of “bucket list” retirement where you go from one cool trip to the next, trying to find meaning or excitement in life, and the research shows it does not generally satisfy. But that is not why I retired anyway.
My retirement was inspired by much prayer and soul-searching. I never really thought much about ways to entertain myself. My focus was how I could live a life of meaning and make a difference outside of a full time job and with more flexibility.
So I ended up creating “buckets” of how I envisioned spending my time. On September 13, 2014, with almost 3 months left before my retirement, I wrote a post titled “Three Buckets of Time.” The buckets I was focusing on filling were: 1)Intellectual Nourishment, 2)Volunteering and 3)Family Care. Now 20 months later, I find that these are still good ways to think about how I am spending my time, but the size of some buckets are different than what I thought.
The first bucket has probably been the least surprising. I have a couple of board roles that are highly engaging, intellectually stimulating and just what I needed transitioning out of full time work. There have been some surprises in the other two buckets. The volunteering has become a larger bucket than I thought mainly due to my college student mentoring. I did not expect that I would enjoy it as much as I have, be good at it, and be in as high demand as it has played out. And the family care bucket has been more extensive than I expected – thank goodness I retired if for no other reason than to be able to expand that bucket.
I definitely feel like I am making a difference, but not always in the ways I expected.
A Boomer In Transition