Discover Yourself

Who Am I in Retirement?

In retirement, you suddenly stop and think -- WHO AM I? This is how Doreen renewed herself in Retirement...

Doreen from Saskatchewan, Canada wrote:

The first thing I noted when leaving the working world was all the friends I thought I had were left behind. Sure, some worked with me but mostly my friendships were made up of busy people like myself.

Here I was at 10 a.m. without a clue who to call and what to do.

I decided that I had some long coming repair work to do on who I was in this world. I took a class and made some new friends of all ages. When my health failed more and I could no longer continue the outside class, I resorted to reconnecting with my past.

First, I went back to my old neighborhood and then the one before that. I made phone calls, made coffee dates and wrote notes.

Next I connected with the high school group and finally with the elementary school group.

Then I contacted the farm district I grew up in and connected with the ex teachers and shopkeepers who played such an important role in my formative years.

This process took time – five years and through it all I continued to keep a dialogue with everyone who was interested in reconnecting.

For my 60th birthday, it was easy to find 60 people whom I have an ongoing contact with and I am proud because I have learned so much from their journeys and their contributions to mine.

I Paint Rocks. If I sold my work, it would be gone and then I would have nothing to point to and say to myself, “see – you still exist – you still are doing something!”

With the rocks – we bought a home in Calgary Alberta and the front and back yard was filled with river rocks. Zero landscaping I guess. So we hauled them back to Saskatchewan and I started to paint them.

When we moved into a condo, we filled our storage room with them. I promised myself I would paint each different animal before I parted with them. Of course, I did give some to the grandchildren.

It was hard to take on this new personality. I was an extroverted organizer and now I am much more reflective. This self examination is very interesting, but scary too. I don’t like aspects of myself. They say what you don’t like in others dwells in you. I have a lot of pride. It has taken me up and dropped me hard.

I wonder if every person who retires willingly or otherwise finds themselves thrown into a self examination zone?

The following comment is WHY I love to share retiree experiences on my website!
Doreen's story "clicked" with Sharon.... and I'm sure it will click with thousands of you out there!

Sharon P from Canada commented:

Doreen: What you said really clicked with me... this self reflecting role is exactly what has happened to me since I retired two years ago. I don't think that role came willingly to me either.

I have been exploring and learning so much about myself and sometimes it is scary... at least it was at first and maybe not so much now.

Now, I find myself looking at everything as an adventure and, when I run into snags such as health problems, I just try to deal with it and go with the flow.

I was never an extrovert organizer like you but I never took the time to really look at myself. I can understand what you mean about why you don't wish to sell your work.

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