• Leonie Lewis

Over but Not Yet Out!!

Andrew Flintoff is widely considered as one of the greatest international all-rounders of our time, but arguably what’s more impressive to me is what he did post professional cricket. He retired at the top of his game but was not yet out having launched a hugely successful TV career.

Unlike Flintoff, I’m not looking to change career focus, but with one chapter over, I’m certainly not out. Being into my 6th week of retirement, I’m increasingly surprised by people’s comments such as "you’re looking really well”, "retirement really suits you", or "how’s retirement?"

The more discerning say, "you'll never retire” and ask what I’m up to, and I then launch into what I’m doing explaining how my days are filled and that whilst I had retired from JVN, I had not retired from life. I had never intended stopping work per se, but rather wanted to go about my next career phase choosing to do things in my time and play the field allowing my days to be fulfilled with different challenges. Becoming a consultant and taking on diverse projects allowed me to capture this next chapter.

This chapter is being shaped by my interests and how I wish to spend my time, the recognition that whilst my collateral is high, I’m still well known, I should take each opportunity offered and give it full and frank consideration. Additionally, I just couldn’t say no to the invites for breakfast and lunches meetings!

And so I had to do a deep dive into myself, to understand what I wanted from retirement. I already knew the word as it referred to my status is not where I am or where I want to go over the foreseeable future.

I know I’m very energetic and enjoy being busy and purposeful, I know I have much to contribute, and am still eager to share my experiences and skills.

These reflections over the last year revealed to me that I enjoyed several areas of work, including:

  • Being my own boss

  • Seeing projects from inception to completion

  • Being with other people.

But I also recognised that continually worrying about raising funds to sustain a charity, writing copious reports, not always read, and being accountable to others was taking its toll on me and not where I saw myself in my next phase.

So here I am, a website, a job title and a blog so it must be real. Plus, a couple of interesting roles and renewed vigour to take on different volunteering positions.

I’m feeling incredibly busy and fulfilled. It’s only been a few weeks but here are some simple tips that have helped me:

  • Plan for retirement

  • Put a structure in your day

  • Take on new experiences and learn new skills

Like Flintoff, I’m embarking on a new phase, which isn’t on TV or even boxing for that matter but I realise, like Freddie, I’ve got lots to say and will continue to update you on my so called ‘retirement’; after all, JVN may be over for me but I’m not out!

I`d love your views on what you are doing in your retirement.

How you manage your time, what hobbies have you taken up, how are you spending your days and how do you ensure that you feel valued and positive.

Contact me at leonielewis999@gmail.com

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