In an earlier blog, I wrote about Mary Catherine Bateson's book Composing a Further Life. Ms. Bateson compared the Third Age or the years between 55 and 85 to an additional room added on to a preexisting house. No one adds on to their house without doing some research. Architects may be consulted, decorating magazines studied, websites visited and permits obtained. We do not take our home renovations lightly. We really need to consider how we want to decorate the new room of our lives.
Monsieur and I participated in a Retirement Success Profile session through Continuing Studies at the University of British Columbia We each completed an online questionnaire of 120 factors known to affect retirement success and we met with counsellor, Susan Curtis, separately and together. The profile considered our current lives and our expectations for retirement. Unlikely that building an addition to our home would change our whole house. According to this model, employment fulfills 5 important needs: remuneration, status, purpose, time management and community. Just as a room will need doors, windows, floor, ceiling and walls, our retirement plan will need to consider how these needs will be met when we no longer work.
In considering my own profile, after 18 months of retirement, most of my basic needs are being met. I have pensions and savings that provide me with adequate income. As I have spent more than 30 years in libraries,
reading books and sharing my ideas is important to me. I am writing this blog and attending Philosopher's Cafés to expose myself to new ideas. Time management is still progressing. Some weeks, I am too busy. For health maintenance and general well-being, I require more scheduled regular exercise. I walk with a friend and visit a personal trainer because I need support in this area (I'm such a teacher). I see my friends and family regularly and have joined a church. The basic structure of my new room is in place and so what is left is the decorating. The fun part!