Our November topic of conversation is about staying engaged - un-retiring. Our retirement years are the time of life that many of us look forward to, a long-awaited period that can offer constant relaxation and a reprieve away from the stresses of the workplace.
There’s often an opportunity to travel for extended periods or to take up a hobby or that art class we’ve always wanted to do. There is a myriad of things we will have on our ‘to do’ list for when we reach that magic age of retirement.
It sounds idyllic, however, do these activities really bring us fulfilment and true inner contentment during our elder years?
It is widely accepted that in retirement many people lose their sense of self when they no longer have a job or career to define who they are. Where they once felt a sense of belonging and an important member of society in their work role, they now seem to be floundering without the support of their ‘place’ in the community. There are some who experience their circle of friends and acquaintances dramatically drop away after leaving work and therefore they can begin to feel quite isolated and lonely, while others seem blissfully happy with their lot.
In her article ‘Purpose’, Catherine shares how she uncovered something exquisitely profound about herself in her elder years; “It moves me to tears to know that at 76, I finally feel my purpose: To hold humanity in love and express that in everything I do, say, think.”
The authors of the articles linked here have discovered that un-retirement for them is about an inner journey, a deeper connection to themselves and the importance of bringing that part of themselves to the world around them. However, others may have a different experience. If we have not yet experienced retirement ourselves, we may have witnessed family members and friends who have.
We’d love to know what your thoughts are on this most relevant topic and invite you to share with us your experience.