In the last installment, I went through the growing awareness view of realizing that you can't keep working forever, and (very likely) don't want to be working forever. But you don't necessarily have a good idea of what you do want to do. And what you think you want to do may in fact not necessarily be what you really want to do going forward.
I mentioned also last time that it is really helpful to have a guide with all this. Doctors don't (or shouldn't) practice medicine on themselves and its hard to have good perspective on your life without someone, preferably with experience in these things, helping you sort through your thoughts. I fortunately have had such advice.
It was an interesting process. After I went through it I captured the concept in a formula:
X = Y1 + Y2 + Y3 + Y4 +…Yx
Where X is the total amount of time and energy you have available and the various Y amounts are the uses of time and energy. The equation has to balance. If you are workaholic, your factors for work and business far outweigh your factors for family, outside interests, exercise, etc. Most of us have very significant factors for careers. Plus we get a lot of our status and recognition for our work roles. When was the last time you were meeting someone new and they did not ask "what you did for a living?"
So when one retires...which is the commonest form of transition though not the only one...the amounts for the factors of work (what one does/one's skill) and business (what one has to do because of the job they have or the business they own) go from dominating the equation to nothing! You say to yourself, "just what the hell am I going to do to fill that time?" For a lot of folks the answer is, "I don't have a clue" and they end up running away from the whole issue. Do this enough and fate (you get let go if you're an employee or you get sick or something or you business stops performing and goes under) makes the decision for you because you will always run out of time and energy eventually.
The key to transitioning as opposed to retiring is to realize that you don't have to take your career/business factors to nothing. That there are options for modulating how you work and what you do to optimize the time energy outcomes and provide the type of enjoyment and self-satisfaction that should be our goal after a long and hard working life.
At some vague point in the future (see no commitments here!), I will go through specifically my personal thought process and how I reconciled my various Y factors to reach a new (and I must say) exciting new equilibrium for transitioning my life.