Retire – Downsize – Solitude


Squeezing many tasks into a tight schedule at retirement can carry over into the post-retirement period. It is not unusual to spend a great a deal of time and energy after a downsizing move to get set up in the next location. Taking a tourist vacation in the middle of this may be a change of scene but it is not always a change of pace. This might be the time to insert a complete break from activity along with some peaceful solitude. Here’s why.

Solitude implies some form of seclusion, remoteness and aloneness, even if only temporary. This may be exactly what is needed after a period of intense activity.

1. Recovery

woman-relaxingRetiring, downsizing and moving take much energy, both physically and mentally. The constant decision making and changes to your daily routine can be draining. Just as athletes require recovery time to maintain their performance, so should retirees maintain their health by purposefully building recovery into their calendar.

“I have to be alone very often. I’d be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning alone in my apartment. That’s how I refuel.”
(Audrey Hepburn: Many-Sided Charmer, LIFE Magazine, December 7, 1953)”
― Audrey Hepburn

“I want to be able to be alone, to find it nourishing – not just a waiting.”
― Susan Sontag, Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963

“I’ll read my books and I’ll drink coffee and I’ll listen to music, and I’ll bolt the door.”
( A Boy in France : Saturday Evening Post CCXVII, March 31, 1945)”
― J.D. Salinger

2. Discovery

sunset+cameraOne of the main benefits of retiring and downsizing is having the opportunity to take your life in a new direction. Since you no longer have the daily obligations of a career and job, you can stop and consider what to do next. This can be a time of anticipation and excitement for the next phase of your life. Here are a few activities from prior articles in this series that may help you explore your options: learn, read, write/blog, paint/draw, play music and teach.

“Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.”
― Albert Einstein

3. Reflection

tranquil-tree+water+bench+grassSolitude is not just time alone with yourself. It can also be time alone with God. Time well-spent with God is time well-spent. Perhaps the business of life has gotten in the way of something you need to hear.

“A lonely day is God’s way of saying that he wants to spend some quality time with you.”
― Criss Jami, Killosophy

“We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence, and private: and therefore starved for meditation and true friendship.” **
― C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

Once you have spent some time in solitude for recovery, discovery and reflection, you will be in a much better state to continue into the future.

What are your feelings on temporary solitude?

This post is part of an on-going series on this blog on the topic of Retire – Downsize – …., covering a variety of possible activities to pursue after retiring and downsizing.

* You may notice some Canadian spelling in these posts. The words may look odd but that’s how we spell them. We’re used to it.

** All Quotes are from the website

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Quill pen

Unless otherwise credited, all posts are happily authored with a quill pen …
Paul Ferri, Broker, ASA (Accredited Senior Agent)
RE/MAX Unique Inc. Brokerage*, Toronto, Canada
*Each office independently owned and operated.

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