Our favorite Boston Redsox player Big Papi’s shirt said it best, “RETIRED NOT EXPIRED!” a t-shirt in honor of his retirement at the end of last season, designed by his daughter Alex – how fitting for this blog, right?
As mentioned in our last post, Mom retired with lots of hugs and fanfare. Only she wasn’t so thrilled about it. For nearly 30 years, she got up every day and went to work. Full time for the same company. And as she addressed her adoring co-workers she said, “I’m just going to have to find some new ‘kids’.”
How does a retired widow create her new tribe?
Mom is outgoing though let’s face it, it’s kind of like dating-things “aint like they used to be.” But also like dating, it has never been easier to poke around and find out what is going on that a person may be interested in – online. At the kitchen table.
Last year, I joined AARP, so I could be more of a resource to my Mom, have a sounding board and a network of people that could help us.
- My first love is the AARP coffees and events they have been so helpful in understanding all the resources available. Once a month coffee and bagels are offered for an open conversation with an AARP representative that shares what is happening in DC as well as in our state. These coffees are casual, comfortable and new faces are always welcome (and FREE!)
- “Dirigo Speaks” events sponsored by AARP and The Bangor Daily News, one moderated by Meg Haskell as well as other famed BDN journalists.I have been fortunate to see people Mom’s age and beyond enjoying each other, enjoying
retirement life! Some speaking at these events to packed houses and not being willing to be put out to pasture. living and loving it.
Agencies on Aging: I also learned about are area agencies on aging. Because I live in the Bangor area and Mom lives in southern Maine, there are two different resources. Eastern Agency on Aging (Bangor) and Southern Agency on Aging (Scarborough) for help. It is FREE to connect with and very helpful. These agencies are plugged into everything and can make life easier.
Remember the Local Library: It may have been a while, but it is great to reconnect with the local library. There are so many free programs – lots of workshops and websites that are also very helpful. Our library here in Bangor, allows online renewals, reserving of materials and so much more!
Isolation is Dangerous: While it may seem obvious to those of us that have a place to go every day, once the routine is altered it is very easy to feel like retreating. Stay home, be bummed out, a fixed income can create new anxieties. Connecting with any of the resources mentioned above is helpful and keeps isolation at bay.
Stay Tuned and Connect: Mom and I have a bunch of stories and there are more experiences every week to share. We hope you enjoy reading about them as much as we do sharing them. Tell your friends, your kids, your neighbors. If you notice sarcasm and humor, it is how we handle the tough times, putting perspective on stress, sadness, and loss. There is a Facebook Page to stay tuned with tidbits that may not work into the blog as well. A Twitter feed (@lunchwmom_bdn) to stay connected also. Please share us around to spread the news, we are grateful.
If there is something you know that can help us, we would love to hear it! Email us here.
See you next week.