Until now, you thought panic attacks were reserved for fathers-to-be in the OBGYN room or for prima donnas at their stage debut. Or sudden breakouts of sweat were the domain of diving Olympians as they viewed their ominous 1,000-foot cliff drop, or tween boys confronting their first date’s dad. Or sinking stomach sensations were felt in those terrifying moments when those dreaded sirens and swirling laser lights screeched, directly targeting you on a late Friday afternoon on your way home from work.
But, much to your chagrin and surprise, since the Friday afternoon retirement party in your honor, it’s only Monday morning, and you’ve already experienced the trifecta of panic attack, sweats, and sinking stomach. What’s going on? This is supposed to be the best first day of the rest of your life â€“ the first morning when you could bask in a late breakfast in bed, savor a 2nd, or even a 3rd martini lunch, take advantage of one if those 4 pm discounted early bird special senior citizen dinners, and channel surf from one late night talk show to another without a thought of a bedtime curfew.
But alas, that’s not how you feel. In fact, it’s been a month or more since that fateful retirement day, and it’s not happening! On the contrary, you’re increasingly feeling rudderless, redundant, non-essential, inconsequential, irrelevant. You seem to have lost your balance; your equilibrium has gone south; even your voice seems to have become less imposing!
Don’t imagine for a minute that you are unique in all the world. Thousands of colleagues (in fact, 10,000-11,000 daily) are joining your ranks, experiencing your anxiety, and grappling with the ups and downs of retirement life. Let’s examine the sources of their (and your) apprehension.
First, whether you ever realized it or not, for more than 30 years, your professional persona has been inextricably tied to your job, your career, your work. Perhaps even more than your family structure, your work defined who you were, gave meaning and purpose to your daily life, provided you with a modicum of power and prestige. Whether you were forced to relinquish that role or chose freely to walk away, you could not in any way have anticipated the psychological jolt prompted by your decision to retire.
Secondly, unless you are independently wealthy, you suddenly realize that what has been a fairly lucrative reliable bi-weekly automatic-deposited salary check is no more! The tap has been tapped out, only to be replaced, in many instances, by a less substantial monthly retirement subsidy. Right now you are too rattled with panic to calmly step back to realistically assess other supplementary income streams such as your 401K, social security benefits, investments, real estate, etc.
Then there’s the whole social thing â€“ the daily cafeteria chatter and gossip and comradery that fostered life-long friendships. You never anticipated the loneliness and lack of daily companionship as by-products of your decision to retire. With whom can you now compete for fashion supremacy, for supervisor approval, for position advancement? It never dawned on you until now that you would no longer be included in the office lottery, the late Friday afternoon gathering at the local favorite cafe or bar, or the Saturday morning golf game.
It’s time to put down the breathalyzer, the tranquillizers, the hot and cold towels, the Tums. The thousands of colleagues and peers who have gone before you and who are presently experiencing your own ambivalence and anxiety can assure you that help is on the way. In part two, we will share with you the strategies and successes they have deployed and experienced as they transition into what we truly believe will be your best, most productive and unabashedly enjoyable phase of your life.
About The Author
Marie Langworthy’s current retirement well-lived is her best sales pitch for Shifting Gears To Your Life And Work After Retirement (2nd ed). But the wealth of career expertise well prepared her to write about how to transfer her life’s experiences and skills to creating a meaningful retirement.
In her current retirement career, she is fulfilling her long held compulsion to write. Her new work takes the form of not only writing books, but blogging and contributing copy to client web sites. Marie is living proof that you can realize your dreamed job. But you need to more than wish it; you must will it to happen.
In her two most recent co-authored books, Shifting Gears to Your Life and Work After Retirement (2nd ed), and Shifting Gears to Your Career Working OnLine, Marie and her co-author, Carolee Duckworth, provide a specific, exciting pathway and strategy for carrying out your ultimate retirement adventure. Both authors and readers can take pride in fact that the first edition of the former title won both a Nautilus Book Award as well as a Foreword’s IndieFab Winner Award.
Marie Langworthy can be reached at…
(Home / 860-228-1744) (Cell / 860-333-4202)