One of the ideas I have been tossing around more and more lately is how to deal with life’s transitions - whether that is losing a partner, retirement, or losing your health.
The more you take charge of your emotional state of mind, the more peaceful and calm your life will be.
The journey of life is based on your choices. Life is full of peaks and valleys, fun, obstacles and challenges. There are some things you have no control of, like Hurricane Harvey and Irma. Other situations, you totally control the destiny. Like retiring and what you will do with your retirement. (In most cases.)
What you do have control of in both situations is what you choose to do - respond or react.
When you respond, you are empowered. You are the one making the decision.
When you react, you lose your power. You feel helpless or hopeless like a victim.
Working with Boomers and Retirees, many of us didn’t realize the losses retirement would cause. You thought retirement would be blue skies and heaven each day.
Only to find out that 1/3 of the people in the first 2 years of retirement are depressed.
42.6 M suffer chronic loneliness. The more social we are, less likely to die prematurely. (American Psychological Association).
I believe that our generation hasn’t been grieving the losses.
I believe much of the pain or hurt from life’s transitions are squashed inside. Whether that is you were taught to not feel them or you don’t process what’s happening. I know growing up feeling my way through things was not an acceptable avenue. You just got on with life.
Today, I realize the impact that has on your health. Those feelings build up when not acknowledged and released.
It’s one of the reasons, I’m writing this today.
It’s important to dig and feel what you feel - the loss of relevancy, the loss of connections, the loss of value, and the loss of significance or whatever you feel.
You don’t stay in the grief or loss, you work through it. You realize, “I feel isolated.” Acknowledge it. Then find a way to be connected again to something that matters to you. You will try being with lots of people but you realize that’s not fulfilling your need. It’s not just being busy seeing people.
First, you must know what you need. Spend time figuring out what made those connections important to you, what’s missing for you.
Those connections were important to you because you were doing:
It’s worth your time to redefine those for yourself. Your health depends upon it.
You can fill those needs and roles in new ways. Instead of needing daily connections like you had from your work, maybe it’s weekly with ladies in a biking group. The rules and circumstances change. You don’t need as much, but you still need meaningful time with people you value.
Relinquish the old for the new. Not always easy but necessary to live your best life during this fourth quarter of life.
It’s why groups like “Meet Up” or “Bible Study” groups are important. They fulfil a similar need you have. You can feel the connection from the purpose you are sharing. You can have intimate conversations about subjects that matter to you.
Do whatever you need to do but make a vow to listen to what you need even though it might seem crazy to your rational mind. Like “retirement is great, freedom to do what you want is so nice”… But, the truth is “I’m feeling lonely, isolated or irrelevant.”
Vow to yourself to honor what you feel so that you can stay young and vibrant with life.
Then, you can create the retirement life you dreamed of having.