In recent weeks I have learned that several friends are being affected by leaving their place of employment shy of their intended retirement plans. In other words, they find themselves suddenly in retirement that was not planned to take place yet. What to do?
Perhaps they had 2 years to go or 5 years. They may have retirement funds upon which they can draw, or perhaps not. This means that financial responsibilities appear difficult to cover in that case.
The reactions, of course, vary because the personal Life circumstances also vary. Yet, in all cases, the individuals find themselves at the place of the unknown. A door has closed and a new door has not yet opened. It is like standing in a lobby or waiting room wondering which door leads to the office you want and the convenience of a wall directory is not available. What to do?
With such an important Life transition, it may be best to embrace it until next steps reveal themselves – especially if the need is not there to immediately find new employment in order to survive. Embrace it. Give yourself time to go through the ups and downs of emotions this new stage of Life brings. Use the time to clean-up and clear-out clutter and papers that have built up over the years. Complete things that have been dangling for some time. The process is therapeutic. Find something enjoyable to do every day and cultivate free pleasures. Notice your moods and needs as the seasons change and what you learn about how you adapt to these changes. Volunteer your time – a few hours a week. Someone needs your help, enthusiasm, and expertise. Keep a journal or have a notebook handy always to jot down ideas, feelings, and experiences. Over time what will emerge is the path you should take regarding how to spend your retirement; semi-retirement; or new career. What to do? Embrace where you are.
© Dr. Drayton-Craig, 2010