Re-Imagining Retirement: Possibility

I get excited about the possibility of fully engaging everyone’s potential, unique gifts and skills. There are millions of various combinations possible in expressing them around the world!

So, I was blown away with the superb stories of breakthrough practices for bringing creativity into all of life in The Art of Possibility. Written by Rosamund, a psychotherapist and coach, and husband Benjamin Zander, a former conductor for the Boston Philharmonic, they present a 12-step guide to sparking creativity. In fact, they inspired my newest fabric art block, Radiate Possibility. Their uplifting stories, parables, and personal anecdotes present wonderful invitations to think outside the box and be creative in all of our endeavors.

What is possible in retirement? What isn’t?

The limitations of your health will impact what’s possible. So, your current self-care impacts your possibility now and in the future. The initiative you take for your physical activity is ONE of the choices you make daily for your “what is possible” and what will impact your health in retirement.

The limitations of your finances will impact what isn’t possible, to a degree. However, with applying some sparks of creativity, you could be very pleasantly surprised. For example, Joyce Major, a North Seattle College continuing ed instructor, took a year to travel the world to work on 11 community service projects in 10 countries. “I took the Trans-Siberian Express, lived in different cultures and got exactly what I had bargained for, change! My spirit is refreshed, my creativity has returned and the layers that were clouding my vision have been blown away from a year spent volunteering around the world.”

Also, the limitations even more greatly impacting your possibility is your positive or negative beliefs. Beliefs are the invisible forces holding us back. (Is the cup half full or half empty?) They tip the scale ever so slightly + or – many, many times a day. If you are negative, you will be looking for the ways things won’t work out, couldn’t work out or why it’ll be too hard to figure it out. If you are positive, you’ll have the courage to wonder what if it could work out, you’d be curious, you’d ask more questions, and you’d even dream a little. That’s one of the keys to a good retirement, having something to look forward to, says Jennifer James!

The limitations of your curiosity and desire to learn impacts the possible number of years you live, studies are finding. Currently, my learning process is focused on creating a retirement internet radio talk show. Bill Walsh, in an AARP article, told of how his amateur chef’s curiosity to turn simple ingredients into amazing taste sensations, turned into a belated birthday present to himself. His criteria for learning the art of French cooking was: a week of classes reasonably priced, for up to 12 students and English-speaking chefs in Paris. What a great example of what is possible! The Linked Learning approach has found students are willing to work harder and dream bigger if their education is relevant to them. What would your bigger dream be?

This week when I asked my MeetUp group “What do you most love to do? (something you never get bored or tired of doing), learning was an undercurrent of more than half their answers. We learn while traveling. We learn when we are fully engaged in anything, i.e. fly fishing. We learn when we meet new people. And, I’m delighted, when each week, we learn from each other in our discussion!

Mark your calendars for the Senior Summerfest on Aug. 11 to enjoy games, food, beer, door prizes and the live 16-piece orchestra MJJO at Garden Court Retirement Community from 1 to 4 p.m. Their address is 520 – 112th St. S.W. in south Everett 98204. Admission is free for 55+ and RVSP to 425-438-9080. I’ll be there; will you?

— By Sharon Rolph

Sharon Rolph is a 25-plus-year resident of Lynnwood and Edmonds and earned her masters degree in applied behavioral science and bachelor’s degree in administration from City University. Her career includes many years at GTE and Boeing in Everett and Tukwila. She presents What Do I Want to Do in Retirement? Connecting with Purpose in Retirement workshops at senior centers.


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