Many of us who have retired worked at the same place for a long time – in my case, over 20 years. Interestingly, after all that time, I don’t have any strong friendships (with other employees) that have carried forth and it is disappointing. These are people you spend many hours with – daily for weeks, months and years. (I do have friendships with people I met because of my work – but not those I worked with on a daily basis.) Perhaps this is why some people have so much trouble getting acclimated to being retired. Their support system changes dramatically – and now they have to acquire or create a new system – which can take a long time.
It’s as Governor Dayton recently described for the day after he leaves office — “Poof … and it’s all gone.” One day you are the Governor; the next day you are old news. It can be the same when you leave a job. One day you are important; the next day you are, at most, a memory.
Thinking further about this, it underscores the importance in keeping a balance between work and life with family and friends. Are you always missing family events (kids plays, choir and band concerts, and sports or special activities with friends) because you are working? Perhaps some of your work can wait – or — in the extreme, perhaps you need a different job.
Should you be lucky enough to reach retirement age, you will need and rely on friends and family – so, it’s a good idea to have a good relationship with them.
This all sounds like unneccesary advice. It’s not. When one is wrapped up in doing their job, you can lose sight of what’s most important. Don’t let that happen to you. I am lucky to have a supportive family and friends but I could have done better.
Note: This blog was inspired by a converstation at lunch with a long-time friend.
Thanks for reading. I hope you return!