Dogs really ARE Miracles with Paws!!

Friday, April 27, 2012

What's Your Take?

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
— Mark Twain
 I need to get something off my chest that I have been worrying about lately.  Someone very close to me is going to be retiring very soon and it appears to me that he is extremely depressed about this situation.  And NO, the person is not my husband...who has been retired for three years already!
 One of the reasons I am so concerned is that this person is single.  He has some outside interests, but as we all know a large part of our worklife is also the social aspect of it all.  Due to my declining health, I was forced to stop working full time back in 1998.  I didn't go through all of those regular "retirement" feelings as I was too sick to deal with them at the time.  When I finally began to see the light at the end of the tunnel, there was probably a period of about a year where I kind of struggled to find out which direction I wanted to go in.  Now, at the time, my husband was still working full time, so it was a bit different than both of us retiring at the same time.  
Crafts were a large part of my day back then...and they still are, when I can find the time!!  Now, I feel as if I'm always either cleaning or packing!  All right, I admit, I have gotten rather used to my husband being home all the time and we can kind of take off and go whenever we want to...we really don't have any set schedule.  But, it is amazing how BUSY we actually are!! 
 Back to my friend...that I am worried about.   He has done some research and has joined a few leagues, but he's still worrying about the "unknown"...I think it is the fear of the unknown.  I venture to say that I went through that to when you are used to getting up at 5 or 6am every day for your whole life and then all of a doesn't really matter what time you get up...there is nobody waiting on you.  It is a life changing moment.  He doesn't seem to "get" the fact that he WILL be busy...he WILL find that his time is consumed with OTHER things.  He actually thinks that he is going to be bored.  
 I'm trying to help him, I just don't know how.  He does not live in this area, so I am limited in being able to offer much in the way of support.  So far, I have told him the very first thing that he should do is rescue a DOG!  He has always wanted one.  He's not sure if he wants to jump into that in the beginning.  I can understand that.  
 It sure would be great companionship for him though!!!  
Got suggestions??  Send 'em my way...please!  I need all the help I can get!!


Ann Oon said...

Get busy.. that's important when you decide to retire. Get a hobby... and most of all... play catch up with all your friends.. travel... and get a dog... that would make his life complete :)

Bassetmomma said...

Oh I think getting a pet companion is the best idea! Especially if he's so afraid of being bored. It will give him a reason to get up in the morning, and in the night, haha! It can provide him with a constant companion and love! He could even do volunteer work.

Karen said...

There's a shelter dog event in Chester in June if he changes his mind about the dog :-) But I understand his hesitation. I think retirement is probably something to be waded into... to be discovered. If he's joined a few leagues, his calendar will fill up quickly. If he wants to travel, the dog might be a hinderance. Just some thoughts.

Karen said...

There's a shelter dog event in Chester in June if he changes his mind about the dog :-) But I understand his hesitation. I think retirement is probably something to be waded into... to be discovered. If he's joined a few leagues, his calendar will fill up quickly. If he wants to travel, the dog might be a hinderance. Just some thoughts.

Hound Girl said...

im only 33 so im a ways off from retire :) I would say volunteer places? I think getting a pet is good but that could be overwhelming dealing with all the changes your friend will be going through.

Daryl Edelstein said...

Funny you should be writing about this .. the other evening we were talking about this very thing .. i think you gave your friend excellent advice and you've shown by example how to ease into retirement .. honestly the busiest people I know are retired

KSO said...

If he's hesitant about getting a shelter dog he should try volunteering at a shelter for a couple of months. I did that in High School and it was a really rewarding experience and prepared me for my first dog, just a thought!

Mr. Pip said...

That's a rough one! My dad lives by himself (far from me) and I was so worried when he retired. I am not going to lie it was really rough on him, but he eventually found some other interests and a new friends. A dog sounds like a wonderful idea and I hope he will take your advice.

Kristin (Pip's assistant)

Remington said...

Depending on what he MAY want to do when he retires should be taken into consideration first. Us dogs are great to have around except when there are places we can't go....if he would be gone only once in awhile there are good kennels to stay in....atleast that is what I have heard....Beth won't let me go there....ha ha!

Fiona, as typed by Dr. Liz said...

Our shrink (yes, we see one regularly - my husband is a certified nutjob) was talking about this a couple of weeks ago - every 20 or so years, people's lives change - you go from being a kid to starting 'adult life', then after 20 years of that, you are evaluating your career path, and then in another (roughly) 20 years, you face retirement, and at each of these points, you are faced with evaluating your life and essentially 're-inventing' yourself. My husband has been struggling with this for some time, and it's not a clear-cut answer, but he's finally asking himself, "What did I do today to give my life meaning? And how did it make me feel?" Retirement, like any re-invention is a process - it will take time, but if he's used to having a structured day, suggest that he continue with that structure - get up at a certain time, and have a plan for the day. My dad 'failed' at retirement 3 times (he kept going back to work) before he finally succeeded. It took some time for him to adjust, and while he likes the flexibility of a retired schedule (he can do more stuff with his grandkids and can help out my brothers more), he still has a pretty structured day; he gets up and does yard work for an hour, goes grocery shopping with my Mom, goes to the gym, and then spends the afternoon doing woodwork, helping my Mom with her sewing, or doing stuff with the grandkids. So, all that said, I would simply encourage him to get out and do things/try new things until he feels 'settled'. It's a big change, and change is usually quite scary.

-Dr. Liz (and not Fiona the dog, who thinks I should retire!)

Ron said...

I think you're absolutely right in telling your friend that he WILL be busy. I think retirement probably takes some getting use to because all of a sudden you're not doing what you have normally done everyday for so many years. Yet, I think retirement is such a great time of exploring your other interests and passions.

I for one would offer myself in some volunteering way - a cause that I feel passionate about. It's also a great way to meet people of like-mind.

Great post topic, Jeanne. Very thought-provoking!

Have a wonderful weekend!

X to you and the girlz!

GOOSE said...

To rescue a furry companion I think would be great. There is your reason to get up, get out, get going, and get to meet new people.

Bailey Be Good! said...

A furry friend is a great idea! Has he thought about volunteering? There are so many different things he could do, and keep on a regular schedule. Good luck to him! :)

Woofs & huggies, <3

~Bailey (Yep, I'm a girl!)

BeadedTail said...

As long as he doesn't want to travel a lot, we say adopting a shelter dog would be a wonderful way to spend retirement! They'd go on walks and he'd have somebuddy to talk to. Hobbies help too. He could take classes at a local community college too since they have lots of fun no-credit classes. He could always work part-time somewhere doing what he wants to do if he can't give up the work life. There's lots of options and he'll discover them over time!

Sweet William The Scot said...

Maybe before he jumps right into adopting a pet the shelter near him might need dog walkers. Our shelter has a group of walkers that takes dogs to a park nearby. Great for getting to know people and animals.
Sweet William The Scot

Brenda said...

I am at this sort of cross-road myself but I have Zach who still needs me. Change is scary, and the older we get it seems to be harder to deal with. He's so lucky to have a friend like you!

Katya said...

Jeanne, I couldn't agree more with those who have voiced volunteering. Volunteering not only helps others, but makes us feel of more value as well...we feel we have purpose when we help others. That said, I have a friend who not only volunteers, but when she goes visiting in nursing homes and hospitals, she is accompanied by her Scottie who is a certified Therapy Dog. This, in my mind, is the icing on the cake! Marsha has the most awesome photos of her little Jake sitting on the laps of elderly folks who are thrilled beyond measure, having a pet visit them!
My mom was a Registered Nurse and upon retirement, she got BUSY! She always says the days seem much shorter since she retired...she has taken up activities like kayaking, golfing, and visiting with her high school classmates! She loves that she has so much time to do things she WANTS to do! Like others have said, he will find his niche....he just needs to look at this phase of life as yet another ADVENTURE!!!!

Ellen said...

I'll jump on the bandwagon for rescuing a pet. I, like you, had to quit working when I was 50 also for health reasons. I also spent quite awhile trying to feel better. That was 12 years ago. Hubby and I traveled for the first 5 years. Had I been alone, I'm not sure how things would have gone though. I agree about the volunteering. I volunteer twice a week at church and I love it, also I love crafts. On the other hand, hubby, who has been retired since 1993, spend most of his day watching television. At first it drove me crazy because he had no interest in anything else, then I finally realized that his hobby is the TV! He is happy there, he has his very own TV room. So you never know what makes some people happy.

Ann said...

the only thing I know about retirement is that everyone I know who is retired says they are busier now than when they were working.

NanaNor's said...

Hi, When we retired here in Colorado it was a hard adjustment for my husband due to the winter weather. He went through a low period but then got involved in sports groups at a local senior center and he loves it. Now that spring is here, he'll be golfing when he can. I would find out if your friend is interested in any sports and find out if a rec. center near him has classes or groups for that.
Hope this helps.