When I was first thinking about writing this book/blog, I talked with one of the women in my aquafit class at the Y who had retired a few years ago and mentioned that I thought there would be many identity issues upon retirement. Her response to my comment was a resounding “yes”. This wasn’t exactly reassuring to me because now I knew for sure it would be an issue but I didn’t know how to address it.
Once upon a time, a long time ago, my identity was rooted in being somebody’s daughter. Then I was defined as being somebody’s wife (but, as a feminist, and given my personal in-and-out-of-wifehood history, I can’t hang too much of myself on that particular hook anyhow), somebody’s mother, a teacher, somebody’s grandmother, somebody’s friend … and on the list can go.
From my perspective today – looking out into the abyss of retirement (don’t see why abyss can’t have a positive meaning too) – so many questions begin to float across the horizon. I’ll deal with some of the specifics in subsequent postings.
QUESTIONS FOR THE CRONES:
- What was the shift from a work/professional identity to being a retiree like for you?
- Did you feel less valued as a retiree?
- How did you build a new identity?