Retirement, oh that wonderful pie in the future sky. Once achieved, ‘how is that working out for you?’ Is retirement all that you had planned?
After 30 years of retirement planning, we see our successes fade away into the sunset with a wave and a ’Hi-Ho Silver’. Then, in a couple years, the silver lining is gone, the Hi-Ho has been replaced by a Uh-Oh. What has happened to this picture? It is called the reality of retirement, wherein boredom, perhaps even depression has set in. Inactivity begins to make the old bones feel older and the mind is not as sharp and perhaps, the retiree may not even care. The common element is in-activity, a loss of passion and mental activity.
A person retires, and for a few years everything is fine. But then, some retirees — especially men — fall into depression. One frequently cited study found that the incidence of self-reported depression goes up by 40% during those first few retirement years. So, what is the fix? Get back into the swim with activity, action, and/or social connections. Be busy, be very busy and if you can make this activity a benefit to others, a self-satisfaction will set in. Making the sunshine and the old silver lining spirt will return. A drug may be prescribed, but if you have Retiree Syndrome (my own verbal invention), the old you will return, I promise.
Retirement was the golden dream and can still be. A nice relaxing vacation was nice for a week, maybe two, but for the rest of your life can be a bitter pill to swallow. A business? Turning a hobby into a business can give purpose, activity, and revenue. Make some bird houses and sell them to the local nurseries. Garden flowers, make flower arrangements and take them to a sick friend. Or even mow your neighbor’s lawn when they are away. Volunteer at the Red Cross or the church. Become an artist or give singing lessons. The possibilities are endless. You will be healthier, happier and go to bed each night knowing you improved the world a little. Maybe, tired from activity and your health will slow it’s aging.