Reinvent: to make again. Renovate: to restore to life, vigor, or activity
I know, you think, why do I need to renovate myself? I’m doing just fine right where I am. But oftentimes transitions in our lives force us to reinvent ourselves.
Some of those transitions include moving from single to married status. Becoming a parent. The time when our children leave our home, as we turn into an empty-nester. The milestone when we end our formal career and grown to be known as a retiree.
For the sake of this piece, we’ll focus on the empty-nester and retiree stages.
At both of these stages we, like a home renovation, start with the original and through a few challenges breathe into ourselves a new life.
As an empty-nester, we can experience feelings of relief, pride, emptiness and also a sense of vacancy. Then we begin to ask ourselves, “What will I do in those hours I cared for and counseled my children. How will use my time now?
As a retiree, you have dreams and wants you have looked forward to. Travel, sleep in, read a good book, etc. Then you discover you don’t have the funds to travel, your friendships were tied to the job you left. Plus, you may discover you can only watch so many re-runs of Magnum P.I. (I mean the old one with Tom Selleck. Wink, Wink:)
What are some additional challenges you as an empty nester and retiree face? How can you work through them?
- You’ve lost your sense of purpose. Ask yourself, what are my passions? What are my talents? Write those down, then pray over them. Ask God to give you direction about where to use your passions and talents. Then take the plunge and do them.
- You may find yourself with less energy. Your teens kept your mind and body active. Without that stimulation how do you boost energy level? Join a book club or small group Bible Study. Invite friends over to play board games. Walk instead of sitting.
- Your scale may turn into your enemy. How do you overcome those few extra pounds? With a bit more time on your hands learn to cook healthy meals. Grab a friend and walk in the cool evenings or join an exercise class you both enjoy.
- Resentments and tension crop up between you and your spouse.
You may find your commonalities of either teens or work-life have disappeared and give you little to converse about. How do you handle this? Find enjoyable actives and do them together. Allow each other time to find independent activities for each of you. Each of these will stimulate conversation.
- You may struggle with low-spirits or depression. This can be normal so don’t beat yourself up for it, do something about it. Exercise. Socialize. Eat a healthy diet including foods high in vitamin C and D. Share coffee with a good friend. If you find yourself in depression more often than not, GET HELP!
- You might find yourself in role reversal.
You may find your parents need more care, cutting into your free time. How do you care for your aging parents yet not become resentful? Draw boundaries. Visit and care for them, yet let them know you have things you are doing and they need to be respectful of your time.
Life is a journey and reinventing ourselves isn’t easy.
Now that you have faced those challenges and made some changes, look at yourself. My guess is you, as that home, look back at the before and realize this new life you have made is amazing.
Ladies, continue to re-invent yourself. Listen to the still small voice of God directing you at each stage of your life. Then live life to your fullest.
Blessings to you in whatever stage of life you are.