Celebrating Next – Kathie Houchens
It is our mission at Lifelaunch Consulting to help others define their ‘next’ with purpose and intention, and to celebrate as a new chapter unfolds. As part of this, we maintain a blog featuring our friends who have successfully navigated the move from ‘now’ to ‘next’ and are thriving as a result! It is our hope that by sharing these stories, we inspire others to live their lives to the fullest.
My pre-retirement career:Spanish Instructor at the Ohio State University
Three ways I spend my time in retirement:As a Spiritual Director (in one-on-one sessions and as a group spiritual process), writing (poetry, fiction, children’s stories, memoir), watercolor painting, gardening, playing music (organ, piano, dulcimer), practicing yoga and ballet. (Sorry, that is way more than three!)
What I love most about retirement:Waking up every day excited to dive into activities that bring me joy.
My biggest challenge with retirement:Slowing down and not jumping into every exciting option that I am offered.
What I did to prepare for retirement:Trained to become a spiritual director, established an exercise routine that I enjoy and will stick with, bought watercolor paints and instructional videos and began to practice.
Something I’ve recently done for the first time:Acquired a hammered dulcimer, yet another instrument I will learn to play! And, I submitted a fiction short story to a contest for unpublished writers.
Most recent book/article I’ve read:Being Mortal by Atul Gawande, not the most recent, but one of the most helpful. I also read Anything by Richard Rohr and Cynthia Bourgeault, also Diana Butler Bass and Mark Nepo.
My future:Stay alive as in active, alert and energized physically, mentally and spiritually. Keep giving myself away to causes and opportunities that spread love and peace, understanding and kindness.
My advice for future retirees:There is no “formula” for doing this. Slow down at least once a year and take a week to yourself for discernment about where you are and where you are headed. I have to leave town to do this, but I always come back renewed and revitalized.