Rewirement is more than just a catchy word. It is an idea whose time MUST arrive. Consider rewirement a developmental stage in life, much like early childhood, adolescence, or young adulthood.
Let’s rid ourselves of the term retirement altogether! The synonyms of retirement imply we already have one foot in the coffin. You don’t believe me? Look it up. Tell me, what do the words vanishing, abandonment, solitude, dissolving, completion, retreat, and withdrawal convey to you? To me, they spell the END…getting smaller, conserving and retracting. NONE of these speak to growing, sharing, playing, enjoying, learning, or giving back to others!
Rewirement is an opportunity to finally reach for your dreams, the chance to recreate yourself into the person you always knew you could be, but didn’t have the time, money, wisdom, or resources to do so. This stage in life is, in fact, more than an opportunity; you have a responsibility to not only yourself, but to the world, to make the most of your time. And that, my friends, takes courage.
Is There More?
Let’s assume that you’ve lived a life of abundance, fulfillment, and integrity. Let’s pretend you’ve lived as a hero, a dragon slayer, and that you’re perfectly content. You have the perfect relationship, and have made your contribution to others. Now you’ve reached retirement. Now what? Do you continue your existence in la-la land, perfectly content to do more of the same, or do you look towards the next challenge, the next opportunity to grow and create yourself in life?
I personally do not know anyone who fits the above description. If I did, I think I’d be inclined to shake and wake them up. To be living in a state of bliss sounds so incredibly BORING, and I bet most of you would feel the same if everything was handed to you on a golden platter. Life is about growth and learning, about having a vision of the highest you and going for it.
On the other hand, many of us may believe the best part of life is over. Feelings of restlessness and even despair may have settled in. We find ourselves fumbling about day to day, trying to keep ourselves busy. It’s amazing how the mundane tasks of shopping for groceries, stopping at the post office, gassing up the car, and making our next meal can fill up our days. Didn’t we once upon a time get more done in the same amount of time?
We question our past accomplishments and worry over perceived failures. Did we do the best we could raising the children? Was I so naive to believe that my spouse really loved me? Did I sacrifice my best years working for some company who never appreciated me? We find ourselves stuck, not knowing which direction to go. We believe there is something wrong with us since we just can’t seem to be happy.
And the list goes on:
- Here I am, (x) years old, and happiness still seems to elude me no matter what I do.
- Where was I when the happiness pills were handed out?
- Old age is right around the corner, and I feel as lost today as I did as a young adult.
- Why has my purpose in life continually escaped me?
- Is there more? There’s gotta be more!
You have a choice. You can wallow in the hollows of despair, continue to believe that you have been victimized, and blame others for where you are now. But the truth is we all have created our own reality by the decisions we have made along the way.
Accept full responsibility for where you are. You have, over time, created your present. And you did the best you could.
Now the task is to move forward with a new perspective and outlook, let the past be the past, and start making intentional decisions.
So Where Do We Start?
Start by doing and remembering:
- You are never too old to start down a path of self-discovery. In fact, I believe now is the very best time to pursue your personal rewirement. Most likely do not have others depending upon you as in the past, and your regular career is, or nearly is, over.
- Don’t let your financial situation, being out of physical shape, or your relationships with others deter you from your pursuit. All of these situations can be remedied over time.
- Let yourself dream: Release the shame and embarrassment you feel and let yourself dance and dream once more. If you had a magic genie at your disposal, what would you wish for? Better health? Happiness? A dedicated life partner? It’s ALL achievable. But you’ve gotta believe this at the deepest level of your being.
- Journal: Grab yourself a pen and paper or, better yet, a notebook, and start journaling your thoughts and ideas. Use the journal as a steering mechanism for your soul. Don’t judge yourself or feel ashamed for what you write. Write with a purpose: to discover what is truly meaningful and important in your life. Ask yourself what your dreams and curiosities are. Write, write, and write some more! Let it flow…
- Once you develop a direction, and it can be a broad direction at this point, take the next step towards learning more about this interest. Perhaps it’s weaving, painting, photography, or landscaping. Maybe it’s raising your own vegetables, having a flower garden, or investing in real estate. What is important is that you start taking steps, no matter how small, in the direction that your heart steers you. Listen to your feelings; they will help guide you.
- Focus on your interest. Continue to learn and explore. Don’t try to be a jack-of-all-trades; be a master of one to begin with. The Universe, whether you know it or not, will help make your desires come true. In fact, what you focus on is what you will create for yourself. BEWARE: the Universe doesn’t make distinctions; it brings you what you think about. If you focus on feelings of futility or inadequacy, the Universe will bring more of that to you. Focus on what’s great and beautiful and the Universe will bring more of that into your life.
- Be patient with yourself. Love yourself: The journey ahead is not a simple one. There will be days when your emotions will get the best of you. There will be days when you beat yourself up for what you perceive as shortcomings and make you want to crawl into a hole and isolate. There will be days when you wish you could just be held and loved, along with times when fear fills every cell of your body. Expect it. Acknowledge it. Respect it. And then dust yourself off and move on. Realize that you are gradually erasing old habits of thought and creating new ones. Give yourself time.
- If you need help, get it. If you choose to get feedback from friends or a therapist, choose someone who has already gone through what you’re experiencing. Or, choose someone who is in the process of reinventing and reconstructing their own life. Interview them. Ask questions. You both can help each other out.
The journey to rewire yourself is a tough one, but well worth it. Once you’re able to tap into your and the Universe’s resources, you will be astounded how good you feel. Circumstances will change, help will seem to appear out of nowhere, and creating your own path in life will become easier. You will find the contentment of knowing you have a mission and a purpose, and the satisfaction of knowing you are worthy and loved. I can think of no greater gift that we can bestow upon ourselves.
Make the decision NOW to set upon this journey. Time will continue to past by quickly. Don’t wait. Start now, and a year from now you’ll find yourself closer to discovering that inner peace and personal fulfillment that we ALL desire.