Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The First Years of Retirement

I've been a fan of Sylvia Bereskin's blog For The First Time: Feminist Women Retiring with Gusto since she first started it. It's never been a financial blog, but rather, a meditation on how retirement changes (or doesn't change) one's life.

Sylvia is giving up her blog, but not without first wrapping up the fears, joys and valid concerns about retirement as she experienced them during the first two years.

It's a fascinating list, and I find myself in some of her descriptions-- does the word 'workaholic' sound familiar? I have been defined by my work for the past 38 years and it scares me a little to think about putting it aside. Not that I would ever give it up entirely--there are still numerous volunteer opportunities in my field. But so much of my life has been planned around my job or my family. The family is grown and, more or less, on their own now.

The work remains constant. What will it feel like to walk away from that?

But reading Sylvia's take on it makes me feel better. We are still making progress even when we leave a huge chunk of our previous life behind. And the adjustments, both positive and negative, can be suprising.

Surprises! My favorite part of life.


Bob Lowry said...

What I left behind when I retired 10 years ago was stress and unhappiness at what I was sacrificing. Like many, I defined myself by what I did.

What I have gained is a new world of experiences and opportunities. I took on challenges I never even thought about while working. Now I define myself by who I am.

That change makes a huge difference.

Grace. said...

I think the decision to retire is much easier if one is unhappy or very stressed at one's job. I am fairly stressed, but not really in a bad way--the truth is, I love my work. I do hope that when I finally retire, that I do, indeed have 'a new world of experiences and opportunities' to look forward to.

Super Saver said...

I like retirement because I can choose to work on my terms, e.g. work times, project assignments, stress levels, etc. I consider most of my jobs "paid volunteer work." I could do them on a volunteer basis, but I feel I am appreciated more on a paid basis, even if the pay is low.