It would seem we are all in a rush to get out of the rat race and not have to go anywhere each weekday morning. As one woman put it, “I like to know I will not have the alarm clock buzzing at 6:30 in the morning and I have to rush to get to the office.” There is that…
But how about having nothing to do in the morning? How long will the pleasure of that turn into boredom and a sense of worthlessness?
If you do not have something to look forward to when you “retire” then having nothing to do will become your status quo. And it would explain why so many people go back to work doing something that gives them a sense of self-worth.
One of the highest incidences of suicide is among men aged 65 and older who can’t stand to be “doing nothing” and discover their self-definition was their job. Take that away and they feel they have no identity. Very sad to think we have created a culture where we are only known for how we answer the question, “What do you do?”
How about investigating what is next? Working with a career counselor or a life coach can bring a great sense of meaning to an otherwise boring life. After visiting all your friends, or as a client called it today, a “mooch munch”, then what is there?
This is not to say that retirement should not be a time of allowing you to do what you please when you want to; it is that having a purpose in life besides avoiding an alarm clock is more satisfying. When you redefine yourself and an answer that question, “what do you do?” with something more than “I am retired”, it prolongs life. Not to say a volunteer at a library or a part-time instructor at a local college doesn’t count. It does.
Consider the possibility that retiring “from” something “to” something else will help you live a longer and more vital life. Make sure that the Third Stage is as exciting and meaningful as the Childhood and Working Stages were.
If you need some help with this, please call us. We have plenty of coaches and reputable career counselors who can help. Financial life planning. Try it; it works.
Photo Credit: Bethan