By the time we hit 60 years old, we’ve lived a lot of life and we’ve seen many changes; we might even feel like we don’t know what our purpose is anymore. Children have grown up and moved out, there may have been divorce and remarriage and we’ve most likely found our way in the world, to some extent. Many folks have been through significant illness or even the loss of a spouse. It’s the perfect time to do a reevaluation of our lives. What do we want? What makes us happy? More importantly, how do we find our purpose in life when so much has changed since we were younger?
Especially after retirement, we start to ask ourselves these questions. We’ve had our careers, raised our children and done most of things that society “expects” of us. Many people find a certain amount of freedom at this age, but that freedom can be scary and feel like it lacks direction. This means that it’s also a great time to ask questions like, “Why am I here?” and “What is my purpose now?”.
Questions To Ask Yourself That May Reveal a New Purpose
What am I passionate about?
Often times, our passions can be put on the back burner while we tend to careers, raising children or furthering our education. Once we enter retirement, we have more time and it’s very appropriate to be asking ourselves what we’re interested in now. Are there things you used to do when you were younger that you want to explore again? Or hobbies or skills that you have always wanted to master? When you were the happiest, what were you doing or creating?
Retiring means that we no longer have to compromise our time with demands that may have felt “required of us”. Since we have more time on our hands, it’s an ideal time to begin asking ourselves the deeper questions that will lead us to find what we truly enjoy or feel is valuable, and hence a sense of purpose. It won’t happen overnight, so be gentle with yourself, but continue to probe yourself until things rise to the surface.
How do I feel about my age?
Age is strength, although some days it might not feel like it. Think of all of your experiences and how much you have learned on your journey so far. While our bodies may be different than when we were younger and perhaps our physical state won’t allow us to run that 10k marathon next week, learning to accept our present age is actually a strength.
Shifting perspective on age and understanding the value of your life experience and wisdom will allow for peace and appropriate goal setting. Still want to run that 10k marathon? Start with one foot in front of the other, training daily. Accepting and embracing your age will reveal that you can achieve great things because of your age, not in spite of it.
Am I stuck in a routine from pre-retirement? And how do I change it?
Routines can lend a lot of stability to our lives. Once the routine of going to work is removed, many people find themselves with a loss of purpose, especially with a lot of extra hours on hand.
If you could do anything with those hours, what would you do? Have you always wanted to volunteer, but never had the time? Past dreams of creating something unusual or being an explorer? There are so many ways to discover the new and future you.
Having asked yourself the above questions, start uncovering new (or hibernating) interests. Even just window shopping for new hobbies on an online retailer might give you some ideas. Click here for some ideas.
Have you always wanted to be an adventurer? Having purpose doesn’t have to mean being serious and stoic all of the time. Look into GeoCaching (click here) for real life adventures, anywhere in the world. Think real-world scavenger hunt and you’re on the right track. Loads of fun for all ages and skill levels.
How can I give back?
Now that time is no longer a constraint in the ways it was in the past, many people choose to give back to their community or to contribute in a meaningful way. This can happen in many different ways.
Think about the skills you’ve gained in your lifetime. Could you teach or mentor the younger generation so they can carry those skills forward? Volunteering in charity shops, schools or community centers might be right up your alley, (keeping in mind Covid-19 precautions).
Don’t want to volunteer? At this age, many of us have accumulated things in our home that would serve someone else better than it serves us. 3 colanders in the cupboard, too many towels to count or those knick-knacks the neighbors keep giving you would all find a better home with someone who needs them. Think about the different ways that you can give back; studies show that people who have a high sense of satisfaction in their lives, give back to their communities in some way.
Once you’ve started to ask yourself some challenging questions, like the ones above, you’re well on your way to finding new purpose with the extra time you’ve been given.
*This post is not sponsored but does contain external links to product examples. Product links are used for example purposes only and these links do not indicate specific product endorsement by CareGivers of America.