The dream of retirement is often an end goal, but for many, the reality has been less than wonderful. What used to be deemed the reward to the end of your career and often very productive working years—and should be considered a milestone for new beginnings and direction—can sometimes become a nightmare.
Some men retain the ability to be independent, rejecting the need for social interaction. Some function well without having to actively establish, or even require, new patterns of social connection, while other male retirees suffer the sense of lost identity and personal isolation. This transition, from productivity to obscurity, can bring emotional challenges, personal boredom and the question of self-worth. They may grieve the loss of their old lives, feel stressed about how to fill their days, or be worried about the new day-to-day relationships and routines.
Hobbies can be embraced, provided they are available and affordable; family connections can be the focus, provided there is geographic, interest and lifestyle compatibility; and there is the opportunity to travel, provided finances, health and the desire for new experiences is present.
But these situations do not always compensate for the loss of identity, purpose or status. The issue becomes, “What to do?”
The most common advice, whether it be from a friend, an understanding significant other or even conversations with a Life Coach, is to: “Learn new skills or adapt the ones you already possess.”
This common answer can manifest itself by becoming a volunteer, either to a community, a charity or a mentorship. It can be in one of many venues—veterans’ organizations, community associations, religious groups or educational opportunities abound.
Check with everyone you know. Use those networking skills you mastered. Search out websites. Investigate community/library bulletin boards or colleges, universities or high schools. There are always volunteers needed, no matter your skill, your interests or your experience.
You can always sit down with a Life Coach to establish which scenario would best fit with the person you are or pursue interests that might be best utilize the gifts, talents and passions that are already within you.
Volunteering provides social connections and strong support networks which keep your physical, mental, psychological and emotional needs satisfied and alive. After all, doesn’t feeling alive and fulfilled lead to a more satisfying work-life balance we all desire?Albert Lavenziano, of Atlas Life Coach, helps to identify common patterns and connections in clients’ lives to assist in unscrambling the directions for a person’s future. This can lead to a more satisfying and fulfilling work-life balance. Connect at 520-406-8576 or [email protected].