It occurs to me that although a majority of people look forward to being relieved of the responsibilities (and tedium) working for a living entails, that, after a while, maybe a few months or a couple of years an existential void may very well appear in the retired person’s psyche. A certain guilt that one is no longer a contributor may have the thoughtful retiree wondering about what constitutes a meaningful existence.
Most, I suppose, find things to do: necessary activities of social support, volunteering where needed. And most everyone of sound mind will be cognizant of one’s impending mortality as physical health inevitably declines, knowing every moment must be embraced, valued. Eat well, exercise, stay healthy, experience life to its fullest.
So, along with the afternoon dances at the VFW, the early bird specials and retirement community life in the southern climes, life proves to be good.
I remember running into a professor from the UofM at a nearby “permaculture” site (where the inhabitants literally live off the sustainable resources of their own land) and he shared with me that he thoroughly researched retirement before it actually happened to him. His conclusions were very similar to those I heard previously in regards to the “pursuit of happiness”; that one must be competent, connected, and autonomous. He felt it especially important to remain somehow “relevant” in his own community.
Interesting thoughts sudrakarma; competence, connection (to a degree) and maintaining an autonomous existence certainly seem important; relevance, though, is a fairly nebulous realization dependent on one’s perspective.