‘This is the fourth blog in the Caregiver Series which discusses reinventing yourself. ‘
From the time we are growing up, we hear the word ‘retirement’. It first is referenced to our grandparents but we think it is what older people do after all, it doesn’t really affect us. All we care about is getting out of school or college and starting our lives.
We start working at our first real job and we hear about it again. We should start to plan our future, however it is something that our parents do so we ignore the advice and continue to have fun in our early 20’s.
About our mid-twenties, we are getting married and having kids and the topic of retirement comes up again. We finally realize that the two generations that came before us were smarter than we gave them credit for!!
We start planning for the future and think about one day we will be retiring. We go through raising kids, sending kids to college if they choose that route, planning weddings, and becoming grandparents. The kids have moved out and the 50’s and 60’s become our time to enjoy life. As we get close to mid or upper 60’s we are planning how to spend that nest egg of wealth that we have accumulated. And then..
A brick wall!!! You are 1 1/2 years away from starting your retirement and a diagnosis comes. My husband hit the brick wall when he went on oxygen and couldn’t go back to work in the manufacturing plant. It is a hard pill to swallow as the decision to stop working is no longer yours. Your diagnosis has taken that decision out of your hands. We have to take a breath to accept what is happening. After you have taken some time in self-reflection, it is time to reinvent yourself but how do you do that!
- Accept where you are.
- Re-adjust your goals.
- Concentrate on building strength.
- Look at a different industry.
- Volunteer (if you can longer work).
- Try a remote position with flexibility.
- Try an online venture.
- Focus your attention on one goal at a time.
- Stay positive.
- Identify your strengths.
- Test the waters-if it doesn’t work, try something different.
Reinventing yourself is not easy and doesn’t happen overnight. Talk to people in your support system whether it is your family or friends. Don’t let your diagnosis define you!! You are so much more!!!