The big yellow school bus passed as it had done so many years before. But today I felt a odd twang of sadness. I hadn’t bought my school supplies, nor my comfy shoes to help me get my rush through my hectic schedule.  I had retired from being a guidance counselor as well as English instructor. For over twenty-five years I chartered the days of my life by the school system’s calendar and while my back thanked me for slowing down, the rest of me was discontent and dull. It’s strange. When you are retired, it’s easy to lose your edge and your spirit of vitality.  And it’s not just the big things I missed. I missed driving alone into work with my cup of coffee listening to some pop radio station feeling an active part of society.  

April Kirkwood is a licensed therapist, author, and motivational speaker.

As a dedicated lifelong learner and career woman it didn’t take me long to tire of dusting the cobwebs and redecorating the rooms.  I wanted something to do. My body was antsy. I needed to grow and challenge myself.  Although I knew that I didn’t want to teach again in the school system, I was unsure on what it was would be my next challenge.  All I knew was that I wanted something different, new, and exciting.  

Next I got down to business and considered all of the logistics.  I get retirement compensation so I have a cushion of financial safety if I fall flat on my hiney.  The kids were grown on their feet.  I travel so I needed something that gave me flexibility.  I thought about the kids I taught with their future open ahead of them.  I could be them again.  I was them. I love the millennials and knew they had a lot to offer.  They are right.  The world is a big place and there’s lot of options.

These are the steps that I followed for finding my new adventure:  

Get Ready

Understand that transitions from work to retirement back to work brings up many emotions.  Learn to let go with joy knowing that something else is around the corner.

Realize that it may not seem like you’re finding your next passage but realize that each day and each activity, conversation, thought, and feeling are part of your movement to this second career.

Ask The Universe for Help

Metaphysically, the  more you are able to release the wonder of this adventure and embrace the unknown the universe will listen and your future will unfold as if by magic. 

Go inward and ask yourself if there are any inner urges you have for something you want to do this month.  Follow that inner calling.

Honor Your Wisdom and Knowlege

List all of your gifts, talents, and experiences.  Write them down and read them over and over if need be. See how much you’ve done and let it permeate into your consciousness.  Let the understanding of your one of a kind presence open the doors for all that is meant for you to arrive.

Honor yourself as a unique individual.  Don’t compare your retirement to others tallying up what they are doing with their time versus yours.

Continue each day with affirmations: “I am true to myself.  I am following my truth.  I know what to do.”

Be Awake and Aware to Guidance 

The person at the coffee shop who mentions something you’ve always wanted to explore or the girl at yoga who has an opening at her holistic boutique.  Signs are there.  Be sure to follow up on them.

Stay Positive

 Be prepared for what seems like dead ends with new perspective. These illusions are truly guides assiting in  eliminating in your mind what isn’t for you so when the perfect opportunity arises you will know it’s right.

Counselor’s Tip:  

This is your time to do what you love.  Open up your space with lightness, joy, and gratefulness for another day to continue your journey.  If not now, when?

Extend the hand of help and gratefulness to other women along the way. What a blessing to be part of  this time when women are more empowered as never before.

Society is calling  females to take their place and change the energy of the planet. 

Go and break through the walls of fear and create the most wonderous chapter of your life yet.


April Kirkwood is a licensed therapist, author, and motivational speaker.  Her memoir, “Working My Way Back To Me,”  is an inspirational tale that sheds light on universal struggles involving love, sexuality, addiction, and mental health.