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Regrouping after retirement.
Expert advice from former occupational therapist Holly Dietz.
I have worked since I was 16 years old in the employ of others. I chose a college course that defined a job and a location as well as salary level. My expectations, dress code, goals objectives, and hours were set by another, and I was willing to meet them. Within this framework, I managed my continuing education, family life, and monetary expectations as well as my free time.
As an Occupational Therapist, my responsibilities included the ability to assess the strengths and weaknesses of a person and establish goals for the progress of that person within the framework of their medical and personal needs. These benchmarks were established to meet that specific individual’s needs.
The role of the therapist is to accompany the individual through the process and then facilitate the attainment of these goals through physical, environmental, medical, and emotional variables. The therapist assists the person in identifying short- and long-term goals, strengths, limitations, and future needs.
Occupational therapy gave me purpose. I was well respected in my field. I provided mentorship and education to peers and other groups. But, when I retired, I somehow lost my purpose. I no longer had others to establish my goals, set my hours, and expectations. It was suddenly up to me to find my own way and that became a struggle.
In order to reestablish a purposeful life, I needed to draw from my own experiences as a therapist. It came clear to me that I had to identify and set some meaningful, long-term goals. I knew it was important to establish a strength and weakness profile in order to incorporate effective changes and routines in my life. It was obvious that I also had to have some short-term, measurable goals as well as a plan for the future, in order to rebuild a fulfilling and fruitful life for myself.
I realized that I could use my experiences, both professional and personal, to help others with similar turning points in life and to help them meet their goals — and at the same time achieve my own — in whatever life has to offer. And thus, once again, my mission restored my purpose. Ironically, I recognized that I could manage the stress I was feeling by employing what I had spent a lifetime doing for others. Sometimes we find that the best helping hand is right at the end of our own arm.
(Holly Dietz will be one of my guest panelists for the Proven Success Skills for Business Women: Managing Stress Forum.) I encourage you to click here to register for the Proven Success Skills for Business Women: Managing Stress Forum on Thursday, June 23, 2022, from 9 AM to 12 noon Eastern Standard Time at Melhorn Manor in Mount Joy, PA. This event will also be available through live streaming.
When you come to a fork in the road, take it.- Yogi Berra