Getting Started Over and Over Again

January 25, 2011

By Dr. Larry Anderson

Professor workingLife is a process and retirement is a new step.  Some of us, particularly if we had a professional career, may after retirement find ourselves longing for the power and prestige of our previous work.  In short, we need to be noticed.

For me as a university professor, it is a question of prestige more than power.  Standing in front of the class lecturing or facilitating discussion groups is both challenging and exciting.  And, having someone I meet on the street say, “Hi professor Anderson” is very pleasing. The question is will my former successes get in the way of my planning the next steps? Will I be able to let go of my previous expectations?

I think that the creation and presentation of my retirement workshops may be a partial way of taking the next step and adjusting to a new life. I will still be on centre stage as I facilitate the workshops. This will help me to reexamine my life and perhaps develop some wisdom about my life experiences.  Even now I reflect on the time I have left, what skills I will be able to bring to the community and appropriate goals for continuing my journey.

I developed my first intentional goals in my last year of high school when I decided to go to university and play football.  Some of my co-players at the University like Tommy Larscheid and Merlin Olsen expanded their sports goals from university and became famous professionals with athletic professions. I followed the goal of becoming a university professor.  For the last ten years I’ve been on the Board of the local senior’s centre and now I’ve created a retirement blog. Each of us has a unique story that continues after we retire. The journey continues, one step at time. When one part of our life ends we should strive to set new goals and continue to seek fulfilment of our need to be recognized for our contributions to society.

Did you find you missed aspects of your job or had trouble adjusting to retirement?

About the Author: Dr. Larry Anderson is university professor of psychology who is retiring soon. He has started a company called BC Community Building and plans on presenting workshops to prepare people for retirement. Dr. Anderson is on the board of the Langley Senior’s Resource Society. Read more of Larry’s articles at his blog.

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