At some point in the first few weeks or months ob being retired, you may mutter the words, “I’m bored.” The first inclination is to rush out and do something, anything to avoid the feeling of not being needed, of not having a place to go or something that calls for you to do.

The transition from work to retirement is a very interesting shift. One day, you’re required to get up at a certain time, battle traffic, enter into a hectic work day filled with meetings, tasks that can’t be completed in a timely matter, finish the day to rush home to complete unfinished chores, often falling into bed exhausted, only to get a few hours later to start the process all over again.

No wonder people look forward to retirement as a breath of fresh air. Being able to get up when you want, drink a quiet cup of coffee and leisurely read the paper without feeling rushed is a wonderful feeling to the new retiree.

You may know someone who entered into retirement with the same zest and zeal they had when they worked, proclaiming, “I don’t know how I ever found time to work,” as they busily run from one event to another. But, most people crave a rest from the rat race and long to take the time to smell the roses. Many spend the first few months catching up on long over due chores at home.

At some point in the first few weeks or months ob being retired, you may mutter the words, “I’m bored.” The first inclination is to rush out and do something, anything to avoid the feeling of not being needed, of not having a place to go or something that calls for you to do.

This is the natural response the mind makes when not being overwhelmed with things to do. The mind loves to stay occupied. If busy, the mind won’t have to ask the question, “Who am I? What is my purpose in life?”

Retirement is the opportunity to redefine who you are. Finding the answer takes time and quiet. It can’t be rushed and it can’t be found in meaningless activities.

When you hear the dreaded “I’m bored” words creep into your mind, recognize this as an opportunity that is a vital part of the transition and a natural response from you mind. Instead of trying to fill the void with activity, take a few minutes to just be present where you are. Accept your thoughts and feelings, without trying to change them.

Being present is difficult for western people. Unlike people in the east, who learn to meditate and being quiet, westerners, especially Americans are primarily focused on achievement, accomplishment, and keeping busy.

The easiest way to learn to be present is to be aware of your breathing. Focus on your breath as you inhale and then slowly exhale. As you become aware of your breathing, your will automatically be present in that moment.

You have spent the majority of your life focused on the past or the future. You worked hard to arrive at your current place, but your mind is used to racing. It is unaccustomed to being still.

Like any other skill, it takes practice to learn to not want to rush into the next activity. You will find if you practice being present, the other activities in your life will take on greater meaning. As you engage in new interests, you will be able to savor them with a greater awareness and attention.

Author's Bio: 

Cathy Severson, MS helps you make the most of your retirement. Baby boomers understand this isn't your parents’ retirement. Find out how to make the rest of your life the best of your life with the complimentary e-book 7 Ingredients for a Satisfying Retirement.