Fridays (before retirement) meant the end of a hard working week… at some places I worked. My last job – not so much. When you work with lots of people, encouraging them and answering their questions, facilitating their actions… you work when they need you.
When their work is also their past time, it normally involves some weekend contact. So, Friday’s take on less meaning. There is no end to your week when you work like that.
So, after a time, I managed to lose my work/life balance. It wasn’t intentional… it just occurred. It wasn’t even what the company wanted for me… it just happened. Even the team members apologized every time they called on the weekend. I was tired, not clearly focused and in the end, less motivated.
So, really… being available 24/7 didn’t do anyone any good.
I missed the grandchildren’s school programs, trips with girlfriends, seeing my sisters when they all got together, a musical at the local college, the birds building the nest at the edge of the porch, game day at church, my old friend’s funeral, time at the piano, organization meetings and local events I had loved before and most important, meaningful time alone with my love.
Balance is a fleeting skill. When you don’t exercise the core muscles, you lose your balance. If you don’t visit, go see the masses, have a drink with a friend, or watch the birds, your core muscles get weak. You can’t stand straight. You can’t carry on a current-content conversation, and you can’t listen to someone who needs to talk… because you are not there.
So, while I search for that elusive balance in my retirement, I have made a plan. Every Friday… with intention, I will visit someone I haven’t seen in awhile. Since I know it’s easiest to start in one’s “warm market”, I’m choosing my friend Dianne for today. Last week, I stopped to visit my long time friend, Lou, at her volunteer station. We had a great visit and I felt so good when I left.
Today, Dianne… who is a former co-worker and now, friend, has lots of interests. I love to hear about her travels, the music concerts she attends with her husband, her adorable grandsons and of course, her new business interests. I’ve made a list.
As usual, I am reminded that I don’t think I am through working yet… but I’m exploring the realms of retirement – on my terms – in balance with the rest of my life.