You’re thinking of retiring, or maybe the date has already been set to take that big step. Maybe you’re at that magical age of 65, or perhaps you’re in your 50s or 70s. You’ve worked hard to get to this point in life and you can taste freedom. Before you pop the champagne cork, take a step back to look at your life as a whole, your career only being one component.
Too often we think of about our lives in black and white terms, forgetting the greys and roles and activities that fill our lives and make them rich. The concept of a portfolio life recognizes that our lives are a myriad of many things that provide fulfillment, breaking down the black and white barriers and paradigms that limit us. When we reach our 50s, 60s and beyond, it’s a perfect time to explore ways to rewire our lives.
Rewirement is a lifestyle, an attitude that consciously treats life as a journey, not an event. Rewirement challenges us to look at our lives with intent and explore ways to learn new skills, challenge our minds, gain new experiences, strengthen our bodies, and enhance our relationships. Rewirement (not retirement) literally rewires our brains and forms new pathways. It’s not a one-shot, time-based deal. It’s a continual, exciting experience that enables us to live a positive, fulfilling life not bound by time or societal boundaries (like mid-life and retirement).
RETIREMENT comes from the root word RETIRE: to withdraw, move back, retreat, cease to work or contribute
REWIREMENT comes from the root word REWIRE: to add new wires & pathways, rebuild, learning new
Rewirement involves challenging our minds, learning new skills and gaining new experiences. For some it may mean diving deep in an interest, finding ways to improve and enhance the experience. For others it may involve learning new skills, starting a new venture, or delving into actitivies that seem interesting. It is essential to challenge our minds and keep our brains active. Treat it like a muscle that needs to be worked.
“Minds like razors remain sharp and bright, only if kept in use, otherwise they rust.” M.K. Soni
Body & Soul
Rewirement also means keeping our bodies and spirits healthy, strong and vibrant. Staying active and eating truly healthy food are essential as we thrive in our 50s, 60s and beyond. As we rewire, we often need to modify our current habits and learn new ways of thinking about what we consume and how we move. While retirement certainly provides greater freedom to recharge and relax a bit, rewirement explores the optimal ways to nourish our bodies and souls going forward.
Rewirement also involves growing and thriving in our relationships with family and friends. We encounter new and changing relationships that provide an incredible opportunity to build and grow — making our empty nest full, becoming a grandparent, expanding our circle of friends, loving our aging parents. Relationships are an important component of our happiness and rewiring them keeps them thriving.
Your career was only was aspect of your life. It was an intentional choice, as is rewirement. What are you rewiring? What will you rewire? One person’s roles and passions are different from someone else’s. Defining what makes us tick evolves over time. For some rewirement means big changes. For others, it’s tweaking. Regardless, it’s an exciting process. It is living with zest.
How will you rewire?
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