If you, like me, are facing retirement or recently retired, you may be trying to figure out who the heck you are now and what you want to do next.
If you, like me, are also on the verge of escorting your last or only child out the door after high school graduation, you may be feeling like you've just received a punch in the gut.
People seldom talk about the difficult emotions that come with the loss of a career or workplace identity at retirement. The empty nest transition is better documented, but for most people that comes well before retirement. So what happens when you experience both of these major losses at the same time?
I have days when I feel like I'm paddling hard with no shore in sight. Or, to go for a different metaphor, as if all the selves I've been up till now have been tossed into a blender--who knows what will come out?
This blog traces my attempt to forge a "second self." I hope that you can recognize yourself in some of my postings. If so, I'd love to hear from you. I think we'll all feel less alone.
Note: Guess what: the pandemic!
The first case of coronavirus reached Minnesota in February 2020. By March, the world I had expected to retire in had turned upside down. So this blog became a record of navigating a wholly-unexpected threat to the health and survival of both myself and my beloveds, in the midst of struggling to define a post-retirement and (sort of) post-parenting identity.
I imagine so many of us have had to redefine ourselves--who we are and what we most deeply want, as covid seems to have narrowed our choices. But--I swear--each time life strips away our sense of who we are, we are birthing something new.