Andy Murray is the 31 year old reigning British tennis champion and Wimbledon star who announced his retirement from the sport due to a severe and recurring hip injury. He has been a fierce competitor and a celebrity. He has been playing since he was 3 years old and in his first tournament at age 5. That is a 26 year career. His departure is sad and poignant particularly because it is not on his time schedule. He commented that he doesn’t think he will ever replace the emotional highs or the excitement that tennis has given him. It sounds like a lot of people we’ve met who have retired and mourn the loss of their job and career.
Someone like Andy Murray has a lot of opportunity in front of him. He could be a coach, a commentator, open a school or camp, serve on an international tennis committee, or be a spokesperson for the sport. The list is long and is growing daily.
Retirees’ work lives don’t have to end with sadness or the lament, “I used to be someone.” You still are the same person but without the title or the paycheck. Like Andy Murray, retirees still have a life in front of them that can provide the emotional highs and excitement so often desired.
Maybe it’s finding new work, volunteering for a cause you believe in strongly, being a mentor and role model, teaching formally or informally, assisting your community in an area you think is important. Your list is long, too. But to have new highs you have to be willing to try things, and in some cases be a beginner and risk failing. As one of our readers told us, “I tried 5 new activities when I retired to see what would give me fulfillment. It would have been easy to say after failing at the first, oh well, I guess that’s it for me. But I kept trying new things and dared to discard the first four. After all you can’t expect to be successful with the first try! Eventually I found a volunteer opportunity that gives me fulfillment, fun and yes even some of the emotional highs and excitement I had at work before I retired.”
What’s in your future?