From Time Scarcity to Time Abundance

medium_284995199-630x315The Days are long, but the years are short” ~ Gretchen Rubin

As a coach working with clients who are in major life transitions like retirement, time is often a big part of what makes us feel anxious. It boils down to the perception of time: going from structure in the known world, deadlines, etc. (scarcity), to less structure, more leisure and breaks for the unknown (abundance.) With most of us, it sounds better than it is. With work, it feels like our time is accounted for, when we are on the clock, so to speak. This is true for entrepreneurs as much as it is for those who punch in because we are accountable to someone or something when it comes to our working life. As we shift away from the rigors of a career to become more in charge of our days, a new pressure emerges as we consider how to make this precious time count.

So, existentially, when every day becomes a Saturday, it can be daunting. Ask anyone who has gone through this reckoning and you’ll hear why it can be so hard to reconcile. It has to do with missing routine and social interaction, as well as a sense of purpose and even a loss of identity. Imagine that, all from a job and the time it took to show up and get the work done…

The trick to this whole conundrum is replacement and practice.

You have to get creative with what are meaningful ways to replace what used to take up all your working/waking hours, then try it out and see if it fits the new you. There is so much life left in each of us in our middle years, whether we are about to embark on retirement or just in the midst of a midlife transition. Carpe Diem is essential either way, as we create a momentum and a sense of vitality for the days and years ahead.

Having the mindset to consciously practice getting off the treadmill and/or rapid pace can be liberating before milestones like retirement are reached. If we mindfully allow ourselves the necessary time to transition from a place of time scarcity to time abundance, we allow ourselves the opportunity to savor a life knowing there is enough time in each day for what is most important. That’s priceless and can be practiced until it feels in harmony with our natural rhythms and internal clock.