My Retirement Community Observations (and My Suggestions)
by Tom Damron
Over the past years of my membership in the Community, the increasing number of members who regret their retirement saddens me.
Too many seem to believe that their new state of non-employment has led them to obscurity. They profess to being lost because they are no longer in their comfortable cocoon since they left the workplace. Nothing could be more wrong.
Obscurity, as we know it, is the state of being unknown or forgotten. And obscurity will kill your spirit faster than anything else will. You must urge yourself to follow the brightness, distinctness, and directness of yourself to create your own opportunities.
How you ask? Easily I answer. You do it by infiltrating your personality into existing organizations—Church groups, the American Legion, the local book clubs, the library offerings, and the list is endless. However, it takes time.
It’s like planting a new tree. You nurture the chosen groups and then watch the acceptance grow, just as the tree will. The secret is to think big while you confidently do the legwork to overcome the negative thinking.
The key is not to become discouraged when arms are not immediately opened to you. Persistence is your task. Make it happen. Keep going to meetings until you become recognized. Remember names and address people by their name. Make your interaction so obvious that they know you’re there as a friend and associate.
Become more direct, act as a host. Be a connector. Open yourself to a bridge group, a coffee-klatch, a book reading, a golf game. The advantage and credibility of such an event can be well worth the stress you may be feeling about it.
Build a method that will allow you to gauge your progress. How many new names are on your list? How many meetings have you attended? How many invitations to functions have you received? Count your accomplishments as you judge the inroads you have made.
Nothing is easy but you can guide yourself to suffer the punches, then bounce up and take more punches. Here in Texas, if the horse throws you, you immediately get back in the saddle and take control again. That’s how it works.
I’m not telling you it’s a piece of cake. I know because I’ve been there. However, if you take planned risks, you are capable of leading yourself out of the cocoon of comfort, out of the feeling of being obscure and into the World you imagined retirement would be when you either made, or was forced to make, the decision to retire.
The more that you speak up and shine your own bright torch, the more you will attract those others you want to reach, and it is then you learn that you have forever cut through the feeling of obscurity.