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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Retirement and Social Relationships

         The material for this blog entry was gathered from a book by doctor John Osborne[i].  It is an excellent book that I highly recommend for those interested in retirement including persons about to retire and those who have already retired.  It has 14 chapters ranging from Plans and Goals for Retirement to Personal Growth.
         The chapter on Social Relationships begins by discussing the connection between relationships in the workplace.  We may continue to have connections with persons who we worked with. For instance I have been able to keep my work email address and continue to follow discussion topics between those who are still at work.   When I drive by either of the two campuses I experience a funny tinkling feeling.  Even when I am driving alone my ego pops up and quietly says: “I used to work there.”
         Next Doctor Osborne mentions the importance of aging. First new retires may “…no longer feel obliged to attend social gatherings. Further, “ We may also find that we don’t go to the movies as often as we rent a video or DVD.  Personally, I have been able to continue my work on the board of the local seniors resource centre; reconnect with TALK—Third Age Learning at Kwantlen, develop an growing relation ship with Alexandra House an organization in Crescent Beach that develops community programs.
         The chapter continues with Dr. Osborn’s discussion of theories (for instance Social Emotional Selectivity Theory) For those of you who decide to get the book you will get an excellent opportunity to analyze your relationship status.
         Toward the end of the chapter he writes:  “ Retirees are usually entering the afternoon of their lives unless they retire at a very young age.  We may find that or appetite for making friends is not as acute as it was in our youth, We tend to prefer fewer select friendships that are comfortable.  We may also enjoy a considerable amount of solitude, even when it comes to recreation.  Our ability to cope with a certain amount of solitude may help us not become too dependent on others such as our intimate partner or spouse.”
         Stopping here, ask yourself, particularly if you are retired: What is the nature of my social relationships and have they changed since I left my work?   And, of course, you could let me know what you think.

[i]  Essential Retirement: Psychological Concerns, Possum Press Canada 
   ISBN 0-9738303-0-1

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