When you have a career, that’s usually what defines you. It is the thing that sets you apart, gives you meaning, and gives you a sense of purpose. If you have a family, that’s another part of the person that you’ve become. However, when your kids are grown and you’ve retired from your job, it can be hard to figure out who you are outside of those roles. No longer the employee or the 24/7 parent, many people have a sense of loss about their identity. Fortunately, you’ve got a lot of new ways to re-define yourself in retirement, including your activities and interests.
It’s probably been a long time since someone asked what you were interested in. What types of things do you like to do? As a trainer and recreation specialist, I know how hard it can be for people to put themselves first without feeling guilty. However, retirement is YOUR time. You should use it accordingly. If you aren’t sure what your interests are, take the time to explore what’s out there and learn what you like. If you’re just worried about looking selfish, don’t. This is the time when you need to figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life, no matter what that might be.
You can be anything that you want. There are so many activities and hobbies out there to choose from that it’s easy to find a place for yourself in the world beyond work. From sports and fitness activities to games and other hobbies, there is literally something for just about everyone. Too many people overlook recreation and activities in their retirement because they don’t think about it or for various other reasons. As long as you take the time to explore your options, it should be easy for you to find a new sense of self in the way that you spend your time during retirement.