Retirement: Part Three

Redefining who we are and will be for the rest of our lives.

Posted Dec 12, 2018

In the last couple of post we have been talking about the challenges that we face in retirement. Retirement often means that we give up roles that we have played for many years with other people both in the organizations that we have worked in and in our community. Retirement is about for most of us redefining who we are and will be for the rest of our lives. This is not an easy transition for most of us. Our self-esteem may be tied up in these roles.

So here's the challenge question that deals with this issue from the game Bounce Back a serious card game that can teach participants the skills and the attitudes of resilience by asking them to respond to challenges that they or someone close to them might face. Participants must use the skills and attitudes of resilience to manage the challenge.

So here's the question: you have been the "go to" person at the hospital were you've worked for thirty years. You have retired and with no children or spouse you feel lost and alone quite often. What do you do?

We would encourage you to give some thought to this before responding. Try to place yourself in the person situation. What would you do if you were them. Talk with a friend or family member about the situation and how they would deal with it.

Here are some suggestions that we would make. First off being proactive has probably always served you well. This is not a time to sit on the couch and do nothing. Take some action. In general being active in retirement is one of the best things that we can do to take care of ourselves physically and emotionally.

Force yourself to connect with others. Yes, your life has changed and some of the old friends you had may no longer be around. Make an effort the to communicate with others and to make new friends.

Look at the bigger picture. You've dealt with a lot of challenges in your life. In your work life and in your personal life. This is just one more that you can learn to deal with. It involves redefining who you are. Maybe you become the go to person in the Condominium Association or in a community organization. Maybe you can still play that role but just in a different organization. Volunteers for this role are usually needed.

Problem solve and be flexible. Approach this like you have probably approached many other problems in your life and in your work. Use those skills. They are still there.

Now you may have come up with other skills and attitudes that you could use. Again talk with other people about the situation and again realize that this challenge is faced by most people who retire. This is especially true if you've enjoyed working in the organization that you are retiring from.

In a few weeks we will do another post in retirement.

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