Sunday, October 2, 2016

The Retirement Cocktail

"What do you do?"

This is the proverbial cocktail party question that can haunt you if you're newly retired. In my seminars I encourage participants to have an answer to this question before stepping over the line into retirement. And I remind them that the question is in the present tense.

At a recent program I must have been placing too much emphasis on coming up with an answer that protects one's ego, or gives too much power to the person asking the question, hoping to meet his or her standard for an interesting life. That's when a man in the back of the room raised his hand and said, "When I'm asked 'what do you do?' I tell people that I'm figuring it out. I view retirement as a time when I get to create balance in my life. Until now, so much of what I've done has prevented me from living a balanced life."

That's when I came up with the idea of a retirement cocktail—a perfect blend of what you want in your life. Not that everything has to be perfectly balanced. Like a good cocktail, not all ingredients are in the same amount, and yet a little dash of something can have a big impact.

So, how would you like your cocktail? What ingredients do you need to create the perfect balance of flavor? If you have read a wine list, you're familiar with the lengthy descriptions of flavors and characteristics. I encourage you to write your own cocktail description. Have fun with this exercise. And mix it up—you don't have to stick with the same drink year after year!

Here's my version of the Retirement Cocktail: A beautiful life full of gratitude. An expanded life full of energy. A creative life full of awe. A shared life full of connections. A meaningful life full of service.

Copyright 2016. Patrice Jenkins. All Rights Reserved.


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