Tidying Up, Marie Kondo's Netflix show based on her book, "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up", is in the media spotlight these days. It is inspiring many to clean out and purge their drawers and closets and cupboards after they have discerned whether each item is bringing them joy (and happily stocking the shelves of thrift shops). The premise is that our lives will be lighter and more joyful with less clutter, and we can all use more joy in our lives!
It got me thinking about the things that need to go as we grow into the later chapters of life. So many of us view retirement as doing life as we've known it, except we work less and have more time to do what we want. That's only part of what it's all about, and yet it's all many folks envision and live.
Retirement and the later years of our lives bring the invitation to tidy up so we can move through life and the world in new ways, not just change up the list of our routines and hobbies. Life becomes less about the acquisition of things and stuff, ego conquests and achievements, and long to-do lists. While much of what we've acquired on those fronts may remain, they are but a container for a new, deeper way of living, if we dare let ourselves move to that place. It is a choice some folks never make.
As we move into this chapter, we are free to purge busyness for the sake of keeping the calendar full, and to ditch doing things because we've always done them, keeping up appearances, as well as the quest for more things, stuff, and status. That may include relationships that keep us occupied but not nurtured, or worse yet, torn down. We can let go of driving so hard and doing things out of will power in favor of learning how to pay attention to flow and how we can move most easily WITH our lives. And finally, we can get down to doing the things that align with our sense of why we're on the planet, the things we know matter the most (or doing inventory to discover them), and the things that we want to make sure happen with the time we have remaining.
What does the art of tidying up include for you as you move into and through retirement? It may not involve a trip to the local thrift shop...and it may be the ride of your life.
Ruth Tongen helps people plan and live meaningful, fun and healthier retirements.