Some people find it hard to retire, because they have no identity, no life outside their world of work. Remember the song “I am not my hair” by India Arie? Well, I am not my profession and/or job. I have a life outside of academia. Don’t get me wrong, I love teaching, it is in my DNA–literally. I come from a family of educators. I can go back as far as my great-aunt on my mother’s side, she was an educator, both my parents, countless aunts, uncles and cousins were also very good educators.
Saying this I learned a valuable lesson from them–there is life outside your career and beyond. There should be friends, activities, hobbies, and even passions that have nothing to do with your chosen career field. Successful people even change their appearance when they leave their job–they let their hair down or put it up. Even Mrs. Westlake, the dreaded math teacher on the Cosby Show changed her appearance when not at her job. You should live for life, not for your job.
I recently found this article in the USA Today and it talks about the struggles some people have when it comes to retirement because their career is their life. Take a look at the article to see if you are defined by your job, or if you can make it into your retirement fulfilled. http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2014/10/28/retirement-leaving-job-work-identity/17671579/
Remember “thisisyourbestyear”. I’ve heard there is much more life in retirement albeit a different life You are not your job.