Transitions: A time of change that goes from one life experience to another. The process of adjusting to the new from the old is the transition. There was a time when I only had to think about getting through the day and accomplishing what was needed.
If I was lucky I might get to do something I wanted to do, but that was rare. Now I am retired. No job to go to and no children to raise. My time is more my own. What shall I do? I am not good at just sitting around. It seems contrary to how I lived my life until now. My life in retirement may be as long as the time I spent raising children. I want to make it worthwhile. It seems like a lot of decisions and a lot of changes.
I call this spot in life one of transitions from one set of circumstances to another. There will be changes, no matter what you think or do or feel, the change will happen.
Retirement, what a loaded word. Most people think of retirement while they are working as that time when the pressure is off and they can do what they want. No more getting up early to go to work or being too tired to do anything but go home and kick your shoes off and put your feet up.
Those who have experienced this transition know that is a great idea, but far from reality. If you have worked your entire adult life and suddenly have no place to go to work, it can be quite disconcerting. You might spend time reading or catching up on things left undone for years. Maybe you even take up an activity that you had been meaning to do, but never got around to.
Or you wander about wondering what can I do that gives me purpose now that I don’t work. Some volunteer. Some learn to play golf. Some people get sick and may die.
I have worked with some people who got sick, I mean seriously ill, cancer, heart disease, when they had not gotten into “retirement” in a satisfying way.
Maybe that is the key. What will satisfy you? There are only a few limitations in retirement: illness, financial limits, ennui. This column will explore transitions and the process of change. The rewards and the traps.
I can say with some certainty that change takes flexibility and some willingness to look at possibilities especially with optimism.
Patricia Lurie has been a licensed clinical social worker for over 30 years. Serving her clients through phone life coaching and counseling as well as in person, she can be reached at (352) 653-7128.