My husband tells me that I never write anything of interest for men. I must admit I am not knowledgeable about cars, sports, or the stock market. With that in mind, I believe it would be best for me to avoid those areas of the male turf and move on to the discussion of a very important segment of a mans life: retirement.
Professionals who work with senior communities tell me that when a man stops his working life, he may well face some kind of identity crisis. This person may have difficulty imagining himself without his familiar daily routine and associates on the job. He might even begin to doubt his self-worth and sense of purpose, asking himself what he has accomplished thus far in this world.
Retirement often affects men in a negative way, more so than women, possibly due to the sudden complete change that occurs in his lifestyle. Although retirement may be a huge adjustment period for men, the strength, love and devotion they show us during a lifetime is testament to the belief that they are now deserving of some time for themselves.
Becoming a member of the senior class is one hurdle to get over, and is something that seems to develop slowly over time, unlike retirement that is usually on a specific date. Most men really have no choice in the matter and would just as soon skip the whole idea and keep on working, whereas some of their contemporaries look forward to the last day on the job. Each case is a bit different.
Regardless of the attitude toward retirement – positive or negative – the experts point out that most importantly, retirees need to understand: who they are is not equated with what they did during their working career or what they will explore during retirement. A man needs to tell himself, “I am more than that”.
When counselors were asked, “what should I do? where will I go once I retire?” No one answer fits all in their opinion, every man makes his own transition and a lifestyle that suites him. Some men prefer to plan physical activities, still others line-up projects to be done at home. Again, each circumstance is unique, and may depend on whether or not the man is a caregiver.
In any case, this newfound time presents the retiree with an open opportunity to search for his interests and talents, to seek new vistas, expand his enjoyment of the senior years.
My friend Dave is looking forward to retirement soon, he has some real cracker-jack ideas and can hardly wait to put them to use, hopefully he will now have enough time for everything he wants to do. He gets his best ideas while shaving, when it’s quiet. First on his list is to make a series of model airplanes and take them to the children’s ward at the hospital. He is one happy guy. The words on his cap proudly say it all, “I’m Retired”.
Nevada resident Carolyn Schneider is author of the book, “Bing: On the Road to Elko”, about her uncle, Bing Crosby, and his 15 years as a Nevada cattle rancher. She may be reached at email@example.com