Ten Signs to Recognize It’s Time to Retire or Retool

SignsForRetiringWhether you’re thinking about retiring or retooling, when do you know you’re ready to make the transition? It’s scary to pull that trigger, isn’t it? The safety net of a steady income entices us to keep working even when our souls yearn for freedom from corporate bondage. It’s hard to imagine life without a pay-cheque.

I don’t have any clear-cut answers either, but I’ve noticed a definite pattern when I observe people on the threshold of retirement. I’ve listed them as ten signs—in no particular order—to help you recognize that you’ve outgrown your regular job and that it’s time to retire or retool. Here they are:

1. You talk non-stop about retiring with your friends and colleagues. At every opportunity, you opine about the things you could do, the places you could see, if only you had the time.

2. Not only are your friends making plans to retire, but your colleagues and acquaintances are telling you that their retirement is imminent.

3. More and more often when you wake up in the morning, you wonder why you’re still grinding the nine-to-five millstone.

4. You start looking for hobbies in strange places. Archery may suddenly become a favorite pass-time. That book simmering inside your head may now seem imminently possible. You remember how your grade three teacher said your painting had potential…hmm.

5. Conversely, you already have many projects clamoring for your attention. You assure yourself that you’ll get to them all when you retire, or that they’re in your retooling plans.

6. Your house suddenly seems too big and downsizing becomes a major topic of conversation in your family.

7. The travel section of your newspaper can’t hold enough deals for you. The rest of the newspaper only holds your cursory attention. Your suitcase is now easily accessible, and you have toiletry kits ready to throw into your bag at a moment’s notice.

8. You’re nodding off in front of the TV, but you insist that you’re awake all the time. You claim that 10 p.m. is too early for bed, so you sleep on the couch until midnight before you turn in.

9. Many old friends you haven’t heard from in a long time suddenly reappear in your life and want to meet with you for lunch or coffee. These friends didn’t have time to see you before.

10. If you’re a fitness buff, you’re now starting to build a network of friends at the gym. It’s no longer just a place to work out, but also a place to hang out.

So what do you think? Clear signs calling out to you…maybe. Weigh in with your words of wisdom.

A Spinning Tale

What happens when you unleash raw energy in a room full of avid cyclists? They reciprocate and give it right back. It’s indoor stationary cycling at its most stimulating. Yup, that’s why I love leading a spinning class, and here are ten more reasons that pull me back over and over again.

1.    No other workout gets my heart pumping faster than when I’m coaxing the participants to go as hard as or harder than me. There’s something about being at the front that makes me push myself to the extreme.

2.    The energy in the room is palpable. You feel it in your blood, in the adrenalin, in every nerve, and in the collective sigh at the end of a song.

3.    What other low impact workout can burn as much calories as spinning—700 to 1,000 calories in an hour—and have a low injury rate?

4.    Stress relief goes hand in hand with the class. It melts away with every drop of sweat.

5.    Gotta love that group cool-down. It’s the “We made it together” feeling. You can’t get that when you go solo on the treadmill or elliptical.

6.    The endorphin kick lasts long after the class is over, maybe burning some more calories…just kidding.

7.    I suspect the participants’ positive feed-backs probably crank up the production of endorphins.

8.    Relax, breathe, tighten up the core muscles, good posture—all the good stuff that you forget to do when you’re working out by yourself…I belt these out loud to the class every time I need to remind myself to focus on my own techniques.

9.    Creating a playlist and choreographing a routine give me almost as much pleasure as when I write. Just as I pick and choose my words, adding and trimming, so I select my songs, listening, cutting and rearranging.

10.    Last and certainly the most fabulous side benefit is the social aspect. New friendships beyond the cycle fit studio, Sunday breakfast after a class—not always the healthy kind…what the heck, we’ve earned it.