(TORONTO, ON) – That word retirement is beginning to annoy me. Yes, we have been using it for some time. In years gone by, perhaps it meant a big employer sponsored party with a gold watch and off the retiree went to a life of not much to do. A mythical world with images of rocking chairs on the porch and mom and pops spending more time with the grandchildren.
Perhaps an extra nap or two and lots of television.
Retirement connotes withdrawal and removal from society. If that was true in today’s time, retirement sounds like a prison.
Yet, even today, that word still exists despite the growing realization that retirement is but a phase in life. It’s perhaps withdrawing from a regular employment relationship and starting a new relationship with life.
In fact, I’ll spit on the word retirement and change it to transitionment.
It may be a transition that has the regular elements of life which, in previous articles, I have referred to as, the Good, Bad, and Ugly. Isn’t this what we experience as human beings during our working years?
Workplace stress can quickly be supplanted by other stresses, particularly the fear of slipping into the status of a penniless pensioner. You are still left with your emotions, your family, your car, and the place where you live so, is anything really different?
My answer would be that retirees are grateful for having survived workplace stress for so many years. Their faces begin to lighten. Often a sense of relaxation is clearly visible.
These retirees just look much healthier.
It is not the workplace and fellow workers that are the problem, rather the stress created by it. The sources of stress may have increased over the years, with the rapidity of communication and its attendant devices and machines.
It may also have increased as, years ago, the corporate moniker became, “We are not giving you a job for life but rather skills you can use throughout your life.”
Transitionment then implies a gradual change, but nonetheless a change.
What’s changing then?
- The replacement of workplace stress by the stress of transitionment. When one is at work for most of the day one escapes having to deal with a whole host of problems. This is the essence of workaholics. Escape life and its problems by using work as an excuse. Consider transitionment as the sum total of your non workplace stress. Wait a minute. Could it be that transitionment is more stressful than the stress created by balancing work and life?
- You realize you are on your way to the grave. Transitionment will either end in death or the last ugly stage of life imprisonment in an institution with a chronic illness. As you realize your mortality, you might as well ensure your will and power of attorney over property and health is in order.
- You may have time on your hands. If you haven’t developed any passions prior to retirement you better get developing them mighty quick. If you have your passions, whether they are golf or Scottish Folk Country Dancing, use that time to execute those passions. No passions or goals and you may end up a lost soul.
- You are treated differently by society. The communist ideology classifies society in capitalism as the bourgeoisie and the proletarians. It seems they forgot retirees, which are popping up demographically like rabbits in heat. On the positive side you might get those senior discounts and, on the negative, the silent contempt of the younger generation.
- You are breaking down. You can certainly delay your decay through healthy eating and exercise but, face it, get accustomed to all sorts of medical appointments and possibly get a pharmacy to line up all your pills.
- You have time to mend your fences.
- You can take better care of yourself.
- You can travel.
- You can enjoy your family.
- You can either chill out or worry yourself to death.
So, I have listed 10 things you can transition into and just about all of them exist for non-retirees. Transitionment is but a state of mind, at least where the rapidly decaying body is taken out of the equation.