Sunday, January 17, 2016

Are you a Previously Important Person?

Many of us men, are worried about losing our work identity when they retired. I had this concern as well, but it did not last long, as it took only a few months for me to fully come to realize that I was replaceable at work. 

Many of my friends (men)  ask themselves how would they craft a new role in retirement? How would they describe themselves when meeting new people? If in their work role, they had a job with a title and influence, they thought of themselves or were regarded by others as important people. It is difficult to become a Previously Important Person (PIP.) when you retire.

As I said in an earlier post Jobs are important to us, so when we retire we lose  importance and feel we may become invisible in the eyes of the world.

PIP status isn't linked to grade and salary achieved. A person didn't have to be a big cheese, chairman or professional in their career. Whatever their level, what they were was someone who was important in the eyes of the world by virtue of their place as a contributing, valued individual.

I have talked about the difficulty I have had in making the transition from work to retirement. After some reflection, I have decided that successfully completing a transition to retirement is not the right goal.  Doing so would mean moving from one rut to another and I hate ruts,and some of my close friends said that I have the adult equivalent of ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) as I move quickly from one project to the next.

What comes to mind is that I could have opted to spend my days driving around a gated community in a golf cart reminiscing with People Like Me.  However, I prefer to think of retirement as a time of continual change, an ongoing transition, an opportunity to sample widely from what life has to offer. 

I get to try lots of things that I always wanted to do and, even better, try some things that I didn't know I wanted to do, Dancing Lessons, for example.  If one thing doesn't work out, like the course I was planning to teach, I can move on to something else.  

I may not be able to articulate exactly why, but being important is no longer important, but then it probably never was.

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