Retiring or Retooling? – 5 lessons from Year One
Looking back at the lessons learned about the lives and lifestyles of local older adults.
January marks the one year anniversary of Busier Now. Though the roll out has been gradual and it will always be a work in progress, this seems like a good time to take stock in where we are and where this thing is headed. One way to do that is to reflect on some of the things we’ve learned.
- 1 Most people don’t think of themselves as old. Folks in their 70’s tell us that they don’t recognize the person in the mirror – they still feel seventeen inside! That’s great, except when the physical limitations of age intrude. Many people feel that keeping those impediments at bay occupies more time and effort than they’d like. Mental and physical well-being are inexorably intertwined and the information and resources we provide can help.
- 2 “Retirement” is a loaded term. It means something different to each individual. We’ve been surprised to learn that for some of our closest friends it’s almost a dirty word! For these driven, type A folks, their self-worth is tied to their careers. Their image of the lifestyle changes that come with leaving the traditional workforce equates to giving up or giving in. Are we discouraged by that? Hardly! These gentle challenges to our core mission have helped to hone our message: that being retired doesn’t automatically make a person a drain on society’s resources – that there are ways to contribute outside the workforce (volunteerism, mentorship, etc) that aren’t just nice ways to pass the time, they’re vital to the fabric of our society.
- 3 We’ve been fortunate to have become acquainted with some terrific local groups like SAGE, the Senior Studies Institute of PCC, Travel Better, Boomerang Giving and Bikes for Humanity PDX. These are organizations that do amazing work and whose missions compliment ours. We hope to continue to promote the work that they do, and to forge relationships with more of these types of movers and shakers!
- 4 There are as many fascinating life stories as there are individual older adults to tell them. In the coming months and years we want to work harder to find and share them.
- 5 Finally, we’re more convinced than ever that there is a need to bring information and resources together for local older adults. That’s why this site was created; that’s the mission of Busier Now.