28 May Coming Home to Yourself
Feeling sad and weepy at retirement is more common than you might think. Men especially may experience this, because they tend to have just a few roles outside of work other than husband, father, and brother, but women, too, can feel lost without a job.
Who am I when I’m not doing what I used to do?
Our society’s practice of asking “What’s your name?” and “What do you do?” can lead to new answers after retirement. This time in life can be an opportunity to explore other roles such as neighbour, volunteer, and mentor, or to spend more time and thought on existing roles, such as spouse or parent.
It is finding meaning and purpose in one’s life that brings the deepest joy. Spending more time “being” and less time “doing” opens the door to being more interested in others, being more caring, being more truthful and honest, and being more involved in what matters deeply to you.
Do not brood on past failures and all those “should have’s” and “shouldn’t have’s”, and do not explain or justify past choices, because this leads to regret, grief, and depression.
Instead, review your life to gain insight as to what motivated you, the people you loved and cared about, the commitments you made and kept. Understanding what brought you to who you are today may help you connect to what matters most to you, and who you want to become in the years ahead.
“Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.” Anon.
Value to society
With all our life experience, what we think and say as we go about our days is of value to our family, our neighbourhood, and society. I think we have a responsibility to say out loud what we are thinking, in a kind, caring, and honest manner.
By all means keep on “doing” the things that matter to you, but also feel comfortable spending more time on just “being” when in the presence of others. Coming home to yourself and just “being” your best self may be the most valuable thing you can “do” for others.
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” Martin Luther King Jr.