Maintaining your identity after retirement - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Maintaining your identity after retirement

Posted: Updated:

Every day for the next 17 years, 10,000 baby boomers will reach age 65.

Some are starting to look forward to saying "I'm retired". Others who have already taken that step now wonder 'what's next?'

When work and structure have been such a big part of an individual's life retirement can be difficult. There is a major void to fill if the golden years are to be all they should be.

So rule number one for a retiree:  Find a new purpose and a mission in life.

John Scripps retired just five months ago after working for more than 50 years. He didn't want to just sit around. So he volunteers at the Hoover senior center.

"If you don't use it, you lose it," says Scripps. "There's just a lot of things that you can get involved in here and just keep on keeping on. I couldn't stop. I just couldn't do it."

Scripps never considered looking at retirement as the end of a career or of his identity.

Instead he considers retirement to be: "I think the better part of your years," he says. "Just get out and about. Be with people. Be about people. Don't stop. Because you will stop if you stop. I'm afraid of that. I don't want to do that. I'm going to keep on until I can't keep on.

Dr. Andrew Duxbury, a geriatrician at UAB, gives a 'thumbs up' to Scripps' philosophy.

"If we do not do that, we stagnate," Duxbury explains. "In retirement, some people get stuck. And they feel like they become stagnant and they don't move. Others start to realize that retirement is not so much that you've stopped being and doing. But rather you have separated what it is you do, from your source of income."

Duxbury says having that identity and self worth is critical especially in the golden years.

"(Seniors) must sum themselves up and understand the tapestry of their lives. Because if they don't do that they will find no meaning in their life over its entire arc and they will end up in despair."

Mary Gray retired a decade ago. She admits there were times when she struggled.

Gray decided it was time to rediscover her identity.

"So I said 'Mary, what are you going to do'?" Gray explains. "I wasn't the type of person just to sit around. So I volunteered. I didn't want to stay home. I needed something to do so these opportunities came up that I took advantage of."

For Gray, her mission is simple.

"I'm going keep on until I can't. I'm a keep on keeping on."

Duxbury says, "We all know the only thing constant in life is change." and that "The people who are able to be flexible, think outside the box will do better with life after retirement. Of course, some people are more resilient than others."

Doctors want to remind retirees about losing touch with those who were once a part of your everyday life. They say it's important to start and have new relationships.

You might do that by engaging in volunteer activities, going to a health club or even stopping by the local coffee shop.

  • Birmingham Area NewsMore>>

  • Overnight house fire under investigation

    Overnight house fire under investigation

    Thursday, July 24 2014 4:15 AM EDT2014-07-24 08:15:55 GMT
    Birmingham fire officials are investigating a house fire on English Knoll Lane.More >>
    Birmingham fire officials are investigating a house fire on English Knoll Lane.
    More >>
  • Death investigation launched in McCalla after man finds decomposed body while bush-hogging property

    Death investigation launched in McCalla after man finds decomposed body while bush-hogging property

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 9:54 PM EDT2014-07-24 01:54:06 GMT
    The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office has launched a death investigation after a man discovered a decomposed body while bush-hogging his property in McCalla Wednesday afternoon.More >>
    The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office has launched a death investigation after a man discovered a decomposed body while bush-hogging his property in McCalla Wednesday afternoon.More >>
  • Governor considering special session to fund economic development incentives

    Governor considering special session to fund economic development incentives

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 9:53 PM EDT2014-07-24 01:53:09 GMT
    Alabama Governor Robert Bentley may call a special session in November to change funding for economic incentives. The money could start coming from the education budget.More >>
    Alabama Governor Robert Bentley may call a special session in November to change funding for economic incentives. The money could start coming from the education budget.More >>
  • Anniston - Gadsden Area NewsMore>>

  • Oneonta police need help identifying woman who stole flowers from gravesite (pictures)

    Oneonta police need help identifying woman who stole flowers from gravesite (pictures)

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 12:55 PM EDT2014-07-23 16:55:33 GMT
    Oneonta police have turned to Facebook in trying to identify a woman who apparently stole flowers from a gravesite at a Oakhill Cemetery on Tuesday.More >>
    Oneonta police have turned to Facebook in trying to identify a woman who apparently stole flowers from a gravesite at a Oakhill Cemetery on Tuesday.
    More >>
  • Suspect in Jacksonville shooting from June turns self in

    Suspect in Jacksonville shooting from June turns self in

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:06 PM EDT2014-07-22 23:06:38 GMT
    Jacksonville police said the suspect in the June shooting of a Calhoun County man turned himself into police Tuesday afternoon.More >>
    Jacksonville police said the suspect in the June shooting of a Calhoun County man turned himself into police Tuesday afternoon.
    More >>
  • Jacksonville man arrested for child pornography

    Jacksonville man arrested for child pornography

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:05 PM EDT2014-07-22 23:05:18 GMT
    William Franklin Harper (Photo: Calhoun County Sheriff's Office)William Franklin Harper (Photo: Calhoun County Sheriff's Office)
    The Alabama Bureau of Investigation’s CyberCrimes Unit arrested a Jacksonville man Tuesday for possession of child pornography.ABI officers served a search warrant at the home of 49-year-old William Franklin Harper. Harper is charged with four counts of possession of child pornography.He is currently in custody at theCalhoun County Jailwith bond setat $100,000 bond.During the search, investigators found methamphetamine. Agents of the Alabama Alcohol Beverage Control Board and the Calhoun Coun...More >>
    The Alabama Bureau of Investigation’s CyberCrimes Unit arrested a Jacksonville man Tuesday for possession of child pornography.ABI officers served a search warrant at the home of 49-year-old William Franklin Harper. Harper is charged with four counts of possession of child pornography.He is currently in custody at theCalhoun County Jailwith bond setat $100,000 bond.During the search, investigators found methamphetamine. Agents of the Alabama Alcohol Beverage Control Board and the Calhoun Coun...More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...
  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • Overnight house fire under investigation

    Overnight house fire under investigation

    Thursday, July 24 2014 4:15 AM EDT2014-07-24 08:15:55 GMT
    Birmingham fire officials are investigating a house fire on English Knoll Lane.More >>
    Birmingham fire officials are investigating a house fire on English Knoll Lane.
    More >>
  • Julio Jones cleared in time for Falcons camp

    Julio Jones cleared in time for Falcons camp

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 11:59 PM EDT2014-07-24 03:59:36 GMT
    Number '11' will be a welcome sight to fans and teammates at Falcons training camp.Wide receiver Julio Jones has been cleared to take part in practice, coach Mike Smith told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Atlanta begins training camp Friday in Flowery Branch, Ga. The former Alabama star injured his foot in Week 5 of last season and missed the rest of the year."He will be limited in terms of his snaps," Smith told the AJC. "Our No. 1 goal is to make sure that we've got everybody as healthy ...More >>
    Number '11' will be a welcome sight to fans and teammates at Falcons training camp.Wide receiver Julio Jones has been cleared to take part in practice, coach Mike Smith told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Atlanta begins training camp Friday in Flowery Branch, Ga. The former Alabama star injured his foot in Week 5 of last season and missed the rest of the year."He will be limited in terms of his snaps," Smith told the AJC. "Our No. 1 goal is to make sure that we've got everybody as healthy ...More >>
  • Man found dead from apparent gunshot wound inside Locust Fork home

    Man found dead from apparent gunshot wound inside Locust Fork home

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 10:35 PM EDT2014-07-24 02:35:17 GMT
    BLOUNT COUNTY, Alabama -- A death investigation is underway in Locust Fork after a man was found dead inside a home late Wednesday afternoon.More >>
    BLOUNT COUNTY, Alabama -- A death investigation is underway in Locust Fork after a man was found dead inside a home late Wednesday afternoon.More >>
  • Death investigation launched in McCalla after man finds decomposed body while bush-hogging property

    Death investigation launched in McCalla after man finds decomposed body while bush-hogging property

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 9:54 PM EDT2014-07-24 01:54:06 GMT
    The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office has launched a death investigation after a man discovered a decomposed body while bush-hogging his property in McCalla Wednesday afternoon.More >>
    The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office has launched a death investigation after a man discovered a decomposed body while bush-hogging his property in McCalla Wednesday afternoon.More >>
  • Governor considering special session to fund economic development incentives

    Governor considering special session to fund economic development incentives

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 9:53 PM EDT2014-07-24 01:53:09 GMT
    Alabama Governor Robert Bentley may call a special session in November to change funding for economic incentives. The money could start coming from the education budget.More >>
    Alabama Governor Robert Bentley may call a special session in November to change funding for economic incentives. The money could start coming from the education budget.More >>
  • Barber's artist skills on display

    Barber's artist skills on display

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 9:46 PM EDT2014-07-24 01:46:30 GMT
    It's called "Brushstrokes Between Cuts." And it's the first major art exhibition by local barber and artist Carter "Pooley" Moorer, Jr. The exhibition features 31 paintings that Moorer created during more than 60 years as a barber at Carter's Barbershop, his families barbershop in Ensley. Moorer's work is on display at The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute now through October 12th.According to his family, Moorer took only one art class when he was a freshman at Western Olin High School, which...More >>
    It's called "Brushstrokes Between Cuts." And it's the first major art exhibition by local barber and artist Carter "Pooley" Moorer, Jr. The exhibition features 31 paintings that Moorer created during more than 60 years as a barber at Carter's Barbershop, his families barbershop in Ensley. Moorer's work is on display at The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute now through October 12th.According to his family, Moorer took only one art class when he was a freshman at Western Olin High School, which...More >>
  • Jefferson Co. District 2 Race contested

    Jefferson Co. District 2 Race contested

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 9:43 PM EDT2014-07-24 01:43:48 GMT
    The election results may have been confirmed earlier this week, but the race to win Jefferson County's District 2 seat is not finished. ABC 33/40 has learned the election will be challenged. Someone has contested the election results.You may remember, only a small number of votes separated Shelia Smoot and Sandra Little Brown. The tight race was won by the incumbent.Brown tells ABC 33/40 Chairman Richard Mauk, with the Jefferson County Democratic Party was served the contest. We're told it ap...More >>
    The election results may have been confirmed earlier this week, but the race to win Jefferson County's District 2 seat is not finished. ABC 33/40 has learned the election will be challenged. Someone has contested the election results.You may remember, only a small number of votes separated Shelia Smoot and Sandra Little Brown. The tight race was won by the incumbent.Brown tells ABC 33/40 Chairman Richard Mauk, with the Jefferson County Democratic Party was served the contest. We're told it ap...More >>
  • Samford picked to finish third in Southern Conference

    Samford picked to finish third in Southern Conference

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 8:38 PM EDT2014-07-24 00:38:39 GMT
    Coming off it's first trip to the FCS Playoffs, Samford was picked to finish third in the Southern Conference, the highest the program has even been picked in the preseason since it joined the league in 2008.More >>
    Coming off it's first trip to the FCS Playoffs, Samford was picked to finish third in the Southern Conference, the highest the program has even been picked in the preseason since it joined the league in 2008.More >>