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Life Phase Number 4 is a different World!
Life Phase 4 Event Horizon
Whether you are shoved, pushed, or enter willingly, everyone will cross the event horizon of Life Phase 4
While this is a stand-alone article, it does dovetail into the three part series that I just completed on Hidden Secrets on Aging and Retirement. I do hope that you will read the first three parts before reading this one; I believe that you will get more out of it if you do. Welcome to the different world of Life Phase #4.
While we hadn’t planned on arriving to Life Phase #4 for another 10 years, we got shoved into the vortex of a Life Phase change. Actually it was a water hose in our path that catapulted us. Thank God that we had a plan, we would hate to see what would have happened if we hadn’t.
The wisest piece of advice once we crossed the event horizon was “Let’s give it the next 48 hours and see where we are then” which came from my husbands’ supervisor in the emergency room that first night. Through those words of wisdom, I heard my own voice, as I had ministered to countless others, saying “just breathe and let’s see where we are.”
- That is precisely my best advice to everyone, pushed, shoved, or voluntarily jumping into Life Phase #4; you really have no idea where you are for the first 2 years. Yes, I said the FIRST TWO YEARS!
I gave you the Life Phase Chart to De-Stress Your Life in the series mention above:
1/4 = 0-25 yoa spent learning about the world and people
1/4 = 26-45 yoa spent raising a family and working
1/4 = 46-65 yoa spent career building and saving
1/4 = 66-85+ yoa retirement
Life Phase Number 4 commonly known as retirement; we break it down in little simpler terms.
Life Phase 1 – (B.K.) Before Kids
Life Phase 2 – (D.K.) During Kids
Life Phase 3 – (A.K.) After Kids
Life Phase 4 – (4 R's) Re-treadment, Rested, Restructured, Retired
Life Phases and Quality Couple time
Life Phase #1 (B.K.)
21-25 years of age
Quality Couple time: 5-8 hours daily
Life Phase #2 (D.K.)
26-45 years of age
Quality Couple time: 0-3 hours daily
Life Phase #3 (A.K.)
46-65 years of age
Quality Couple time: 5-8 hours daily
Life Phase #4 (4-R's)
66+ years of age
Quality Couple time: 16+ hours daily
Don't try to adjust your picture, you have now entered the Re-Grooving Zone!
Once you find that your World has been turned upside down, it's time to Get a New Groove
Enter Life Phase #4 - Re-treaded, Rested, Restructured, REFIRED!
Re-Treadment Phase – your “life tread” needs re-grooving.
- Once the children get grown and start their own families, which has been characterized as the “empty-nest” is nothing compared to the re-treadment process that you enter after being swept into the vortex of Life Phase #4.
The 4 Life Phases Explained
While Don, my husband and I have discussed and examined what we had been thrust into, we came up with this simple approximation to the different phases of life:
When you first got married, (B.K.), more than likely, each of you had jobs, Right? Based on this statically fact we developed this basic Life Phase quality time chart.
- Life Phase #1(B.K.) – Before Kids you had about 5-8 hours each day, together as a couple. This doesn’t account for sleeping time; we were just looking at average awake “together time”.
- Life Phase #2 (D.K.) – During Kids, your quality couple time has been cut down to 0-3 hours each day, together time. Your time and attention whether your realize it or not is no longer on each other, it is mainly on the children. This is especially true when you have more than one child. More children, less quality couple time.
- Life Phase #3 (A.K.) – After Kids, your quality couple time has been increased back to your (B.K.) days. 5-8 hours each day.
However as Don pointed out in this discussion, you don’t have the same “want to” when you were in your (B.K.) days. Meaning you might have changed. If you only hung out with your surfing crowd before kids, you may or may not still be into surfing.
This life phase can get a little more skewed also, for those folks who were into the drug scene, who no longer are into that and don’t have those friends any longer.
- Basically any life changes or challenges throughout Life Phases 1-3 will become amplified when you reach Life Phase #4.
- Life Phase #4 (4-R’s Phase) – Your Couple time has been increased to 16+ hours each day and 8 hours in the bed…do you see where there could be an issue when you enter Life Phase #4.
- In order to survive as a couple through Life Phase #4, your Life must be Re-Grooved for the Road of Life ahead. If not, there will be a Blow Out along the way, and this is why sometime when couples reach this stage of life are getting divorced.
Honeymoon or Doom-moon: It can go either way
While we didn’t have family to discuss what comes next, and our role models were either in different houses or living in different rooms of their house for the duration of their life.
God did provide what I nicknamed as “My Geriatric Congregation” when I first entered the ministry years prior to our Vortex journey. I named them my geriatric congregation because every one of the members was over the age of 70 except me.
Once again, God provided my education on a topic that He knew we would need sooner than we thought. This group I believe was heaven sent, even if it was for a short time, to educate us on what we are now able to teach to you.
The First 6 months into the Vortex:Whether you willingly jumped into the Life Phase #4 vortex, or as with us, we were shoved into it by accident. The process is the same. The first 6 months, is what we call your Second Honeymoon. However, this honeymoon can go either way.
Allow me to explain our thoughts, findings and research.
Watching my parents go through this phase was not pretty; however some of the best lessons in life come from what NOT to do. In the first 6 months of them entering this phase, we listened and watched.
We had confirmed to us our 9 basic life lessons that we built our marriage on.
- Every Rose has its Thorns.
- Don’t hold your past life experiences against your partner.
- Don’t let outside influences come between the two of you.
- Life and Relationship challenges will complicate The Golden Years.
- The children are going to grow up and it will be just us.
- Never lie to each other.
- There are two kinds of workers; those that work with their hands, and those that work with their brains.
- Those that work with their brains need to learn to work with their hands before retirement.
- Those that work with their hands need to learn to work with their brains before retirement.
Every Rose Has Its Thorns!
As long as your Watercolor Memories still reflect the Beauty, the Thorns Won't Matter
As long as your Watercolor Memories, still reflect the Beauty, the Thorns won’t Matter
As the picture shows, the watercolor mutes out the thorns. However, if your watercolor memories only reflect the thorns, and the beauty of your relationship has withered and faded away, you golden years aren’t going to be so golden.
I learned this lesson up close and personal with the first six words of the last serious conversation that I had with my dad before he moved out of the house. He said, "I am tired of the lies!"
- He had gotten to the point where he wasn't willing to deal with the struggle and could no longer see the beauty but only the thorns.
Unfortunately, up until the last few months of his life, they lived in separate residences for most of the last 20 years of their married lives. Not really a statistic for divorce after retirement, but a better financial alternative to divorce after retirement.
Don’t hold your past life experiences against your partner
I must admit, Don had to teach me this lesson. Having come from a highly dysfunctional family, and a couple of failed attempts at wedded bliss, my watercolor memories were nothing but thorns.
In one of our first arguments just after having moved into together with our “Not so Brady Bunch” family of our five combined children, Don had to grab me and look me in the eyes and said to me. “I am not the one that hurt you, quit making me pay for what other people have done to you.”
- Regardless of how bad your past life experiences were, never hold your past life experiences against your partner.
All of which led to this addition to “Our happily ever after vows.”
Walters 21 - July 2010
Nest Filled with Cardinal Eggs outside our Front Door! And in 4 to 5 weeks the babies will fly away.
Don’t let outside influences come between the two of you. NOT even the Children, because the children will be flying away from the nest sooner than you think!
This one piece of advice came through our first date/marriage counseling session that we still believe to divinely orchestrated. You can read more in detail about that event in our lives in my first two books; A Life of Significance and Sharing your Faith Effectively where I discuss this is more detail. However the point that we want to make in this article is:
Regardless of how well-meaning family and friends might seem, they will try to come in-between you and your partner. Their bias and life experiences are what fuel most people’s opinions on what others should do with their lives. You and your partner are just that, A Partnership for Life. The outside influences will try come, and the two of you need to be on guard at-all-times against this relationship killer we call "outside influences."
- Never allow outside influences to fuel your emotions.
Emotions are fickle things, and should never be allowed into any relationship. You and your partner are united, and when you become divided, from whatever the issue or influence is, is when your relationship will fall.
Blue Collar vs White Collar Workers need to learn from each other.
There are two kinds of workers; those that work with their hands, and those that work with their brains.
Don, being raised by a single mother, and every man in town adopted him as their own, one of his “other fathers” told him at an early age; “Son, if you ever learn to work with your hands, you will never go hungry.” And he took that as his mantra for life, and we have never gone hungry.
What we have learned over time is that there are two general types of workers as we all have known for some time, however, when you enter Life Phase #4 you may require a change:
- Those that Work with their Hands. (Blue Collar)
- Those that Work with their Brains. (White Collar)
I will never forget the day, about 6 months or so into my dad’s forced retirement, he came out to our new home that we had just purchased and was surveying our property.
He made a curious statement that day as he was looking through the transit. He said, “looks like I’m going to go hungry because I never learned to work with my hands, they found a way to screw me out of my retirement.” See, he was an electrical engineer, and had what would he considered a job that worked with his brain, not his brawn. Unfortunately, he never did learn the lesson of having to make a change and re-groove his life for the road ahead.
Funny, how one statement; “If you ever learn to work with your hands you will never go hungry” has developed.
Life Phase #4 really is A Different World, if you make it through the vortex of change
While it is true that everyone will enter the life changing vortex of Life Phase #4, we recommend three things to prepare.
- Don’t make any sudden life changes in the first 6 months to a year once you enter the vortex.
- Take things slowly, and Breathe through the Life change that Life Phase #4 brings.
- The More cross training you do in preparation to crossing the event horizon of Life Phase #4, the better equipped you will be when you enter.
© 2015 Cammy Walters