A new stage of life. Retirement is expected as much as it is feared by some, because if it means more time for yourself and for your loved ones, it is also the end of a certain social life linked to work. One thing is certain, retirement must be prepared well in advance and not only from a financial or administrative point of view.
As Sébastien Garnero explains to Planet, clinical psychologist, sexologist and psychotherapist interviewed by Planet, retirement is “an important step in one’s life which requires mourning one’s youth, but also one’s professional activity”. According to the psychotherapist, “retirement appears as a transition, a repositioning and a redefinition of oneself”. Indeed, whatever the age of retirement, it is part of “a break with a certain rhythm of life which was punctuated by the organization of work, time constraints, family obligations”. For some this phase can indeed be particularly difficult because their “life was exclusively centered around work”. Like most transitional phases, Dr. Garnero assures that “reaching a fulfilling retirement will most often go through three phases: a phase of withdrawal, a phase of loss (mourning), and a phase of rebirth at through a redefinition of oneself and acceptance of this new life that is beginning”.
A short time ago, Planet gave the floor to a sixty-something woman who has been bored since she stopped teaching. She then gave advice to those who were about to take the plunge: you have to plan activities, prepare your schedule and your pace well before stopping. Not having done so is the only mistake she regrets today.
Lise, on the contrary, regrets having prepared her too much. Interviewed by Planet, she explained that she could not stand an empty diary of any activity and therefore chose to fill it to the maximum, for fear of getting bored. “I had barely retired when I had already signed up for a walking course and a bridge club. Then I volunteered with an association that helps animals,” he explains. -she.
A busy schedule to which are added other activities of her active life that she kept once retired, such as swimming and a book club with neighbors. “In the end I was even more tired than before retiring”, she specifies, because she did not have time to “do nothing”: “I should have taken this time for myself , the first few weeks, to stay at home, to take the time to have time”.
Today, Lise has stopped playing bridge and walking, to concentrate on two or three activities: “When I feel like walking, I put on my shoes and I leave when I want. The same for bridge, I play with friends once or twice a month. If Lise has found her balance, this is not yet the case for Alain, who stopped two years ago. If he found his activities, he finds it difficult to take his place within his still active family… Divorced for many years, he remained single and counted on his retirement to spend more time with his grandchildren. A choice he soon regretted.
Alain adores his children and grandchildren and expected to spend every Wednesday with the youngest, since they have no school. An hour by train separates him from his family, which is not a problem: “Wednesdays with my grandchildren exhausted me more than I thought. I no longer realized the energy I you need to spend the day with children!”.
If he has fun with it today, the sexagenarian has however taken a long time to admit it to himself and then to tell his son. “I was starting to dread Wednesdays, because sometimes I just wanted to stay at home or see friends, not take a 2 hour train ride and spend the day doing the police,” he explains to Planet . Above all, since the parents work, Alain had to be with his son and his daughter-in-law at 8 o’clock and therefore had to get up… Before 6 o’clock in the morning.
“After a few months, I said stop because I wasn’t spending quality time with them, I couldn’t stand them anymore at the end of the day,” he concludes. She is now a student who takes care of her two grandchildren and takes advantage of them on weekends… In the company of their parents.
Marie, she had the opposite problem when she retired. She decided to settle permanently in her second home, a choice she quickly regretted.
Marie has always lived in the Paris region, where she raised her children with her husband, who died almost 10 years ago. Together, they had bought a house in Loire-Atlantique, for their holidays with their grown-up children and then for their old age. A project that the sexagenarian wanted to keep, even if she now had to do it alone: ”The house was finished and fitted out, but I quickly felt alone there”.
“My children and grandchildren were several hundred miles away, they came as soon as possible, on long weekends, but not enough for me to really take advantage of them,” she told Planet. If she found some acquaintances from summers spent there, she was also far from her friends: “They came from time to time, but it represents a lot of kilometers by car and it’s still quite expensive to do it by train”.
Marie lasted three years at this rate, before realizing the obvious: her house was that of her holidays, not her retirement and it is not the same thing. A year ago, after the isolation linked to Covid-19, she made the decision to spend six months near the coast and six months in her old town, where she rents a small apartment. “I go back and forth several times a year, spending a large part of the winter near my children,” she explains.
When the good weather arrives, she spends three to four months in a row in her pretty house, sometimes alone, sometimes with her children and grandchildren. “I don’t regret having started on my own, but I regret not having prepared my arrival a little more. I didn’t think I would feel so alone,” she concludes.