Unlike the generations before us that we watched, grandchildren might not be near or plentiful, creating a happy occupation. Or maybe a grandchild got dropped off and you are raising him, or an adult child has set up camp in your basement, without much of a plan. Still, we are probably facing changes in career options and physical alterations.
Women are especially prone to thinking negatively about aging, and panic the first few times they lose their car keys, or have a knee injury that dates weeks to heal. Women tend to underestimate their assets and exaggerate their limitations.
Two things are needed to form a good plan: A reality check and a re-framing of our resources. Allowing time and energy for this is crucial to having a satisfying last two decades of our active lives.
My sister Soni is a good example of how to do this, since she has studied the issue and is now implementing her personal plan. She has offered many ideas on how to navigate the unknown ahead, one of which got me started on how to formulate my own ReFirement years.
If you are this old you remember the old show “Laugh In” in which Goldie Hawn always said “Sock it to me”, whatever that meant. But if you remember the initials SOC with an image of Goldie, in your mind you can go back to this simple concept every time you run into trouble planning your future.
The initials stand for Selective, Optimize, and Compensate. Here a a few ways those ideas can help keep things on track.
SELECTIVE. We have to be careful in choosing our focus since time, and energy, are in shorter supply. Choosing the right activities is so important. Choosing a few things that bring JOY and eliminating other concerns helps with the next letter, O.
OPTIMIZE. Once chosen, we should do whatever we can to be really good at the chosen activity. Get training, practice skills, and fine tune the exact area of activity you want to pursue. NOT based on what you think you will be able to find work in, but purely on passion.
COMPENSATE is about getting all the help you need in your weaker areas, such as marketing, keeping up with mundane responsibilities, and things you hate to do. Save all your energy for the important main focus. More on this next post.