Using work as a buffer


Dear Brooke, I am a brand new Scholar, and am about to semi-retire. It’s exciting but I’m also surprised at how scared I am. I think that in planning for this milestone, I have used always being “busy” with work and the planning (which has been done my me and a professional) as a buffer. Now that semi-retirement is really about to happen, all sorts of anxiety about security and identity and even worthiness is coming up.

Transitioning to a limited number of work hours with quotas for time spent on activities outside of work like exercising, spending time with family and friends, and trying totally new things is my Impossible Goal for 2019.

I have been running models starting with the A line (action of needlessly re-running our financials and spending too much unproductive time at my desk vs. getting up and OUT of the office). I can see the thinking (will we really be okay? can I do this? what if I make a mistake and we’re destitute late in life? what will I actually DO now? will I like myself without my work identity?) that is leading to the feelings (anxiety, fear) that result in the actions of obsessive planning and non-action/being frozen with fear.

I am just going to say here that I think I am RIDICULOUS to have worked for an earned such a good situation, and then to be so freaked out by it. But there it is.

In creating an intentional model, should I always start with different thoughts on the T line? Or can a new model also be built by starting with new actions on the A line, then figuring out what thoughts would lead to them?

What helps new thoughts to SINK IN and become a new reality?

Is there anything else you recommend to break the cycle of fear and inaction, for instance, daily thought download and taking apart all of the non-intentional thoughts that are exposed by that?