If you read Dixie’s last blog about volunteering, you’re probably full of ideas. One of the best ways to fulfill your desire to volunteer in retirement is to mentor a young person. You’d be surprised at the number of younger people who would benefit from your insights and your attention.
You might be able to mentor even before you retire. You’ve probably noticed in your workplace that there are fresh employees who seem a little like “deer in the headlights” when they first join your employer.
Instead of being a spectator to their discomfort and floundering, make yourself available as a “big brother or sister,” a mentor to gently relay information that will make their transition into the seduction of work a little easier.
Mentors Make a Difference
A good friend of mine, recently retired, became involved in her church women’s group. She had reached the pinnacle of her career by working hard and then working harder and harder still. The big recognition reward in her company in addition to salary was earning the coveted pink Cadillac. She notched 11 of them on her company belt while taking care of her husband and two children.
After retirement she attended a Bible study for herself which allowed her, in retrospect, to examine her life, to look closely at herself and to begin to understand “Sisterhood.” The “volunteer gig” part of her church relationship in retirement was to spend her time in the “Mom’s Session” with the young mothers to partner with them and validate the importance of the time they were spending with their children while sometimes yearning for the postponed professional life.
My friend’s greatest contribution to these young moms was to remind them how valuable was this time spent with their children and to remind them that this too would pass. There was ample time left for them to meet their career goals.
Say yes invites you to do new things for the whole first year of retirement. You can pare down and be selective after that.
Before retirement, our lives are pretty much consumed by the time on the job and the ancillary time required to get to and from the job, prepare meals, oversee the household responsibilities and carve a little time for immediate friends and family.
In today’s rapid-paced fast lane, most opportunities not directly related to “the career” are categorized as “back burner.” Sometimes that burner never gets revisited while the front burner gets “burned out.”
Now you have the luxury of time. If you plan thoughtfully, you will have the absence of “hurry.” That formula should result in life fulfillment and self-actualization. You can try on different shoes to see what’s the most comfortable fit for this new phase of your life.
Your neighbors, friends, and family are used to having you available for snatches of time before or after work. They have been conditioned to respect your constraints and not bother you for what may be trivial. They have a routine in their lives that hasn’t included you, their too-busy friend. Host a little “getting to know you” brunch at your home to get reacquainted. It would be fun!
The good news is that you are available now! Go to an unhurried lunch. Take a relaxed shopping trip. Play a round of golf. Attend a class. The list is endless. This is the time to reach out to friends and neighbors and let them know that you would like to be included. Continue reading Retirement 2: Say Yes the First Year of Retirement
Okay, so you have this precious new gift. 40-60 hours a week that you haven’t had for the past several years. How will you fulfill your life?… not your work life, your retired life? How will you use these 60- minute gifts?
Take a couple of “vacation weeks” and decide. If you want to sleep for two weeks, do it. If you want to lay on the beach with your toes in the sand, do it. These hours are YOURS!
After decompression from a workweek filled up by others, decide how to arrange this next very important phase of your life? Your expanded life. Your freed-up life!
In retirement, I said yes to a senior tap dance group from the senior center. Only sixty at the time and retired, I wanted to try something new.
Most of my Marketing Director career was spent meeting deadlines, arguing budgets, competing for new business, presenting my point of view and generally keeping my closet ‘Rockette’ under wraps.
While retired from my real job, but having flex time working as a consultant in my previous field, I found I had time to strap on an old pair of tap shoes and revamp my childhood “shuffle ball change.”