Everybody can remember a time when we took the kids to some event or theme park that was meant to be totally awesome. Then when the youngsters get there and see that Mickey Mouse is a man in a suit and so the rides are about the same as the local 6 Flags, an inevitable let down and disenchantment sets in. And that is not fun for the elders on the trip home when all of those expectations didn’t come to pass when the kids came eyeball to eyeball with fact which didn’t line up with their dreams and hopes.
But infrequently even adults can be guilty of letting dreams and pictures of a golden time ahead get the very finest of us. We frequently develop a mythology of how retirement will be when we get there and when that retired life actually starts, there are some real, grounded adjustments that have to be made. So if you can know some of the concealed risks of retirement ahead, it is so much better to go into retirement with your eyes open and have pragmatic expectations.
There are two negative reactions to the sudden shift of way of living in retirement. They are isolation and monotony. Even if you are going to be home all of the time, there isn’t any question that once you stop going to an office or having regular responsibilities, you can regularly feel a feeling of loss and grief because you miss the people, the regular human contact and the joys of being out and that can result in isolation that will get pretty chronic.
For men especially the feeling of tedium can also set in fairly fast when the challenge of the work world goes away. In plenty of cases, men live for their jobs and when that world goes away, there is a sense of disorientation and not knowing what to do with themselves that is disconcerting for the family and for the retired man himself. You could have been anticipating a less stressed life to find that this was the strain that makes you tick and without it, you are feeling adrift in life with no direction or goals.
Both these Problems can be addressed by not letting your retirement life be to idle, at least not at first. You can fill your life up with volunteering, getting busy with family or by becoming involved socially with other retired people. One area of volunteering that may go a ways to replace the gratification of the work place is to work with habitat for humanity to help in building houses for people who cannot afford a home another way. Both retired married partners can find ways to pitch in and it will get you out with people doing things that are worthwhile .
Give yourself a little time to get used to the concept of retirement and to the new way of life. It should be a faster lifestyle because your duties are reduced and you have more time on your hands. Bear in mind that if you and your spouse are all of a sudden around one another every day and each hour of the day, that’s going to form new tensions which can also qualify as a hidden danger of retirement. By being aware that this is not due to either partner but a natural reaction. The best response is just to get out and do things separately and create that natural space you are both used to more often.
There’ll be a natural down time when you first retire and treat the first month like holiday. But do not stay on holiday. Let your ambition and zeal for life find new outlets. It will be thrilling and fun to see where it takes you and that’s what retirement is all about.