A child fills the house with artifacts. Everything on shelves, in the garage, in bedrooms and playrooms marks the long decades of our lives with children.
Around the time our children reach middle school we begin to look ahead, at the adult they will become, the skills they will need, the connections and relationships they will make, the dangers they will encounter. We can be sure that worrying about their progress will take more of our time than worrying about anything else in our lives. We are parents for most of our adult lives, caring, sharing and worrying about our children's lives.
After our children leave, we begin to see what we have become; how our house is serving us at this stage; how our future will unfold. We'll spend the next two decades shifting between caring for ourselves, and finding ways to be of use to our children.
Retirement can start on a positive note, the idea of not having to get up and going at the crack of dawn, and end up with a strange feeling: how am I to fill this day?
People who travel, stay physically active, have civic engagements, have major family extensions, all have found ways to stay engaged without much change in their rhythm and cadence. The rest of us have had to make major adjustments.
I missed my work for years after I retired. I still do.To compensate, I volunteered in the same areas, and found ways to remain active in a different mode.
As the years passed, my health needs began to change, and at that time I appreciated not having so many responsibilities to worry about. Just getting to the doctor or to a test was enough of a stress for the day. While I still miss the excitement of work, I do not miss the daily commute, the long days, the stress...
What major adjustments have you had to make?