Next Chapters by Naomi Schroter
I was recently invited to do a short interview for an Olderhood televised programme entailed:
The interviewer Bill Storie posed three Questions:
- What did you do in the workplace?
- How did you approach retirement and how did you handle the transition?
- What are you doing to keep active?
Followed by a “Message” ….
“So, what message would you like to give to either those approaching retirement or those in retirement?”
I had been given some advance notice of what he would be asking, and so had an opportunity to review my work life and to try to encapsulate it into five minutes. It was like viewing one of those flicker books passing at the speed of light. Or as I imagine it must be like when people say in a near death experience, that their lives flashed before their eyes.
Fifty years in five minutes, how can one grasp the depth, the breath, and the richness of it? Was any of it real? According to Hindu teachings nothing is real, it is Maya, an illusion, no more than a dream, a figment of my own imagination. Perhaps that’s why people write diaries. After all, if it’s written down, it must have really happened. Unlike writing a memoire where you can take poetic license.
A quote from Dr. Dwayne Dwyer comes to mind as I consider the many ways I occupied my life over the years. He put it so succinctly: “If you are what you do, when you don’t, you aren’t”.
While, I’ve done a lot of things over my working life, which I no longer do, my underlying theme has been one of facilitating learning in others, to enable them to make informed choices.
I have followed my own advice as a career coach, “do what you love and the money will follow”. Fortunately my husband, Michael has always been very encouraging and supportive over these many years, which has allowed me to practice what I preach and to save a little money along the way.
Retirement for me has always been about the next chapter. It has meant expanding on past interests to do something else that challenges me mentally, physically and spiritually, as I strive for “self actualization”.
According to Abraham Maslow, in his theory on motivation, while humans will work primarily to fulfill their basic needs (e.g. food, shelter, warmth, security, sense of belonging) the highest form of motivation is for “self-actualization”, the need to be the best they can be, to be fully alive and to find meaning in life.
Research shows that when people live lives that are not in sync with their true nature and capabilities, they are less likely to be as happy as those who have achieved their life goals.
Clients have told me that they continue to work hard to pay the bills, for basic needs, yet they feel unfulfilled and resentful and can’t wait to retire to do something, which they will enjoy and give more meaning to their lives.
Having done the interview, in retrospect, my message for anyone facing or in retirement would be a modern take on Carl Jung – “Be-come the Hero of your own Journey”. Write the script, play the part.
If you can’t “Be” or “Do” it on your own, seek the help of a Coach.
By: Naomi Schroter
Naomi Schroter is a successful career activist who has adhered to her own advice to “Do what you love and the money will follow”. Over the past four decades she has lived in Toronto, London and Bermuda and has embraced the roles of fashion model, secondary school teacher, fashion lecturer, cosmetic consultant trainer, employment trainer, career guidance counselor, Master of Education graduate, Employee Training and Development officer, Manager of Bermuda Training & Employment Services, Bermuda Learning Solutions Consultant and currently, Retirement Lifestyle and Wellness Coach. Retirement for Naomi has been an on-going series of next chapters in a life filled with variety devoted to helping people achieve their own career / life goals.