Welcome to Retirement Zone Coach!

JudyRetirement is an interesting time – and it is different for each person.  All of us have a different view of retirement.  What is your idea of retirement? Do you have a plan for retirement? A vision for how your life will unfold in this new phase of life? Or maybe you aren’t even sure you are ready to retire!

Wanting to retire and not sure what your first steps are? Work with me to develop your plan.  Explore your desires and wishes, look at ways to manifest them through planning and action.


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Year 3 retirement thoughts….

I’m in the middle of my third year of retirement, and also my 3rd season working at Silver Star Resort part time, in Snowsports Sales.  There are times that I have questioned leaving my profession, since I now seem to work 11- 12 months per year instead of the 9-10 months per year previously.  But when I look at what I am doing now, and where my head and heart are, I know I am in the right place.

I thrive in the atmosphere of the recreation industry; I head to work every day with a smile, leave every day smiling, and sometimes even laughing.  And while there was a time in my professional career that I could have said that also, the last years it was not so.

I still continue to accomplish much, but the difference now is that it has more to do with personal achievements, and how I feel about them. Here are just a few of the things I have achieved, and I know there is much more to come!

I have discovered I am a sought after employee in many settings! While so many people of different ages struggle to find work, it seems that as a mature person with a strong work ethic, and a professional background, I am very sought after! While the wages are not huge, they have served me well enough to supplement my needs as I have built my life coach business.

I have established a Life Coach Business that is building into the retirement business I desire.  This will allow me to forego the summer jobs, and perhaps the winter job as well, if I desire.  For the time being, that is not a desire.

I have challenged myself to improve my skiing, and just recently completed my Level 1 CSIA Ski Instructors Certification. At 63 years of age, spending three days on snow with a group of 16 others whose average age was closer to 21, I am quite impressed!

I learned many years ago, that to some degree, we must live for today, because one major life change is enough to wipe out all of our dreams, and set us back at the starting line. For that reason above all, I am so happy to be retired, and making decisions regularly about how I want to spend my day, and who with.  I no longer feel trapped by bureaucracy.


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Going Gray…

Highlight to blend with the gray.

Highlights to blend with the gray.

A subtle change for now as I make this transition:)

A subtle change for now as I make this transition:)

I’ve made the decision…to embrace the gray!

At 63, with my hair dyed medium to dark brown over the years, carefully covering the gray, I have often been mistaken for a much younger woman.  I will admit, it feels good to be mistaken for in my fifties or forties, so this is an experiment, and one that will be a long transition, since I will maintain fairly long hair.  And what if I don’t like it? Well, that is simple, while it will likely take more than a year to be fully “natural”, if it isn’t to my liking, I can go back to my brown hair with one simple visit to the salon:-)

I am excited about this transition! For the most part, I am very down to earth and natural, and while coloring my hair over the years, it was important to me that it “appeared” natural.  Well, my natural color now is primarily gray, from what I can tell.  And somehow I think this will suit me.  Being natural.  Accepting the gray as just a hair color, not as an indication that I am somehow now “old”.

So what does this have to do with Retirement?  Perhaps nothing.  But perhaps everything.  It’s one more step in the process of moving forward!


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Taking stock…

The recent passing of Wayne Dyer has brought much reflection for many.  With the passing of someone so revered by many, it’s a time to reflect.  Especially for those of us in or near retirement.

It has been written by many of those who knew Wayne Dyer personally, that he believed the day of his death was a day to look forward to, not because of any negative beliefs…quite the contrary.  He had such deep spiritual beliefs that for him, death is a homecoming.  It is his return to spirit.

In recent years, I have taken a deeper look at my spiritual beliefs, and what is important to me.  Each of us must come to terms with our own beliefs, and how to incorporate them into our lives, and our lifestyle.  We must be true to and honour this aspect along with our health and physical needs.  It must all be in balance.

Have you discovered your life balance?  What do you need or want to change to achieve balance in your life?




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Changing seasons…

It’s been such a mild winter here in western Canada; spring has arrived earlier than expected, and we are all looking towards summer, even though the mountain still boasts lots of snow.

Life is busy whether we work full time, are semi-retired, or retired.  It has been an interesting retirement journey so far, as I discover how much I am valued as a person and as a worker.  I could easily fill my days with just play, and yet there is something fulfilling about the seasonal jobs I do, and the cheerful interactions with customers at the mountain and clients in the physio office where I do temp Work. I’m waiting to hear about my summer job, and if it doesn’t come through then I will get creative.  Maybe travel more?

As I pondered my retirement a few years ago, I felt a concern about ageism being a factor for moving forward in other jobs.  For the most part, this has not been the case.  It was interesting last week though, when I attended a job fair.  Almost everyone  greeted me with interest and a positive attitude at the tables I approached for a pre-interview…all but one.  At that table, it was interesting, as I observed the young woman dismiss me and put my resume under the pad where she was to take notes, take no notes, and basically decide out of hand, that she had no interest in me for the position.  I must say that this was a first for me in my career!  Watching her reject me, while being so unaware that I could see what she was doing, was a very different experience.  Was it age?  Was she threatened by my experience?  Who knows.  But I do know, that if I was her employer, I would not be impressed. She had forgotten one thing about job interviews – it is two way!  She may think she was just interviewing me, but in that moment when I switched to observing her, I knew I did not want to work for her.

It is nice to be in a situation to make those choices…who to work for and who not…






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All work and no play…

Here I am…enjoying my one day off for the week…and I am retired!

I am not sure if it is the generation I am from, or if I just have to learn to say no, but I am working way more than I had planned!  That said, I have discovered an interesting thing about being a mature worker.  Mature workers are VALUED!

My employers are so happy to see me come in to work, and the young people I work with also seem to truly appreciate who I am, and what I stand for.  They understand that I have worked over 40 years, and that I am a retired professional, and they respect me for that, and for the energy and zest for life I still have and exude.  It is a good feeling to go to work and feel truly loved and appreciated.

As I reflect on the demand there is for me to be at work, and the job offers that keep coming in, it is amusing to think that I wasn’t even sure I would be able to get a job!  Funny how we underestimate ourselves as we age.  The only person who was judging me for my age, was me.

Are you nervous about feeling valued in retirement?  What concerns do you have?



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Another wonderful day…

I love waking up without an alarm…lots to do! But no alarm:-)

My little Georgie Girl (mini schnauzer) woke me about 5:45…earlier than I would plan to wake on a day off, and yet delicious also, as it brings awareness to the day, and to the choice to get up or to loll around in bed for another hour.  I chose to get up.

It was a beautiful sunny Okanagan Day.  After enjoying cleaning my home with the sunlight streaming in, breakfast with my son who is visiting from out of town, it was so sweet to go for a 5km run/walk. The sun brings everyone out.

It has been a strange year for weather.  The mountain is warmer than we would like, with spring skiing arriving a full month early.  Out of town guests seem unconcerned, since they have come from places where the mountains are barren this year.  Being a “local” I am rather picky, deciding not to go unless the conditions are of my choosing. And I have the luxury of choice:-)

Loving my life of choice.



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Where does the time go?

hourglassEverything changes…and yet everything stays the same….:-))

As usual…just as before I left my career, I have more to do than time to do it in….so where does the time go? The minutes and hours fly by…the days turn into weeks…and here it is, almost the end of January and half way through my second year of retirement…

Life is good!

I ski, I socialize, spending time with family and friends,  I go to work at my fun job, and I am building a thriving coaching business.  Phew!  Who could ask for more?



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Feeling alive…

skiisYesterday was a fun ski day!  My son was here and that pushed me to go a little faster…and the snow was less soft so it was more work staying on top of the skis….and today….with slightly sore muscles from a slightly different type of skiing….I feel alive:-)

There is something so sweet about the gentle aches and pains the morning after…  I feel blessed to be able to enjoy these leisure activities…

Yes…I was able to go skiing while I was working full time…and yet it feels different somehow…better…there is time to reflect and replay the fun moments of the day…and to anticipate the next day out…

Enjoying time freedom…:-)

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Finding your passion…

While walking with my neighbor yesterday, we were discussing retirement, and the things that make people happy.  She is a lovely woman, and has been retired for about ten years. She expressed that for her, she wished she had “found her passion” before retiring, because now that she has, she is so much happier.  I asked her what she has discovered to be her passion, and fully expecting it to be something “fluffy”, I was interested to hear that it is “sales”…working in a funky little clothing boutique that she goes to on a part time basis.  After a lifetime career in the school system, she has discovered that she prefers selling clothes:-))

We all have our biases, and because for so much of my counselling and teaching career, at every career workshop I attended, they pushed the idea of “finding our passion”, I’m conscious of my tendency to  almost fight against the idea as some nebulous idea – pie in the sky, airy fairy, unpractical, and a waste of time.  Perhaps I feel this resistance because it never seemed to honor those people whose passion might be “selling clothes”, or being the best server ever in a restaurant!

Recently, while driving home from work, listening to our Canadian radio station, CBC, there was an interview discussing this very topic. They gave an example of a Steve Jobs quote that anyone in the career and coaching field will have heard: “…the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” In the discussion they shared that recent research has not necessarily supported this quote, because so most of us are not in touch with our passion – we don’t yet know what it is! For most of us, we only figure out what our passion is through trial and error, and finally landing in a position that we love.  And there lies the reason I always felt frustrated with talk of “passion”. In fact, I often felt like a bit of a loser…somehow deficient because I didn’t have a “passion”. I was good at my job, and I liked going to work, however it never seemed good enough criteria to be called my passion.

Many know from an early age what they want to do in their life. (Whether that is their “passion” or just something they want to do could also be debated.) For most of us though, we only discover what we love to do when we finally land that job that is right for us – where we feel “in the flow”, and at this point we may indeed claim to have found our passion. I have been in positions that”flowed” many times, and yet not all of them would I refer to as being my passion.

Perhaps retirement is the same.  We can plan for retirement based on our Values and Vision for the future, and we certainly should have some sort of a plan! Yet to be “in the zone”, and have a sense of “flow”, a continued openness to life experiences and alternate activities and ways of living is perhaps what will bring us to that wonderful state of truly “living in our passion”.  It will certainly keep us feeling alive!!  And isn’t that what it’s all about? Feeling alive?



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Zen of winter…

Snowy scene 2Many Canadians head south when they retire…down to Arizona or Mexico for three to six months, and for them, this is where they find their joy.  I am not so inclined…and in retirement even less so.

While enjoying gliding down a snow covered slope yesterday, fresh snow falling on our faces and filling in our tracks on each run, I was keenly aware of feeling “alive”.  The friend I was skiing with agreed with me when I mentioned that I have no desire to miss out on winter… our fourth and often most amazing season!  Winter wonderland for sure, and yet I know that it is because I now have more time to feel the wonder of the snow without the stress of wondering how I will drive to work, that I am able to just enjoy the wonder.

After a beautiful day “playing” in the snow, I arrived home to over a foot of snow in my drive, and while shoveling, realized again how peaceful and beautiful it was.  As I came to the bottom of my driveway, I discovered that the top of the driveway now needed done again, so with a chuckle, I made another quick sweep of the drive, knowing that today it would be a full job again….and it was! Two hours later, visits with several neighbors, it is complete….for another few hours:-)

The beauty of retirement is in the little things….shoveling, skiing down a beautiful snow covered slope, or just Georgiecleaning up at home. Or today, when my doorbell rings and there is a neighbor inviting me to join her for a walk in the snow.  As I come into my own in this new stage of life, I am learning to truly enjoy being in the moment with my chores…to be grateful for my health as I become aware of every little movement and thought.  While doing these jobs, my thoughts rove back to my youth, to my early years as a young mom, and to present day.  It truly is a wonderful Zen state….and I love it:-)

Today was going to be a ski day…early morning ski in fresh tracks…home to work on projects for the afternoon…and the lovely thing about this is that while the snowfall changed my plans…the skiing will be even better tomorrow!!

Not being able to ski brought a plethora of other experiences and reminders of the spirit of humanity.  Getting stuck while trying to head to the store, I was reminded of the camaraderie that a snowfall brings as neighbors left their driveways, shovels in hand, and came to my aid! IMG_4300

I am so blessed to live in a neighborhood and a country where people still help people….where generosity of spirit still lives on…



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