Find some lustre in your life!

January 20, 2019

Longtime readers have noticed that my column title is new. Out with Retirement 101. In with Our Senior Yearbook. 

My friend Ginny noticed the change and passed along an article from a blog she receives from Lustre. Their May 1, 2018 piece was titled, “The word retirement: Keep it or bleep it.” 

Written by two retired career lawyers, Karen E. Wagner and Erica Baird, Lustre is a website “devoted to changing the images of retired career women.”

The cohorts at this website call the word retirement ‘a hopeless relic’ and say the root of the word is the problem … “because retiring is not what we are doing. Quite the opposite. We see ourselves moving forward.”

In their recent blog,  1/8/19, the women wrote, “…We do not buy into the notion that once we have reached the end of a successful career, we have come to the beginning of the end. Or that we are suddenly bereft of relevance or purpose. Or that we are old and invisible. Or happy to be sent out to pasture so we can relax. The world is very slowly beginning to acknowledge that there is a new, unprecedented demographic in town. But not everyone is woke to that new reality. We still have to resist outdated images and assumptions.” 

Their blog could be directed to everyone. 

Over and over again in this column, I have shared stories about the challenges of reinventing ourselves. Some of us have created new careers, and some of us are still searching to choose paths which feel right for us. And it all changes as we change.

The women and their cohorts who write for Lustre think we should remind ourselves of five truths:

“One. The future is at least as interesting as the past. Two. You know more, and can do and contribute more, than you may think. Three. You can learn a lot from younger folks. Four. Younger folks can learn a lot from you. Five. You have much to do.” 

While my volunteer work is fulfilling, sometimes I lack lustre in my life. My travel often involves seeing my wonderful children and grandchildren, but last October, we made a different choice.

We took a vacation with old friends, one of whom grew up in north Yorkshire. We were chauffeured through the countryside by my college friend Shelagh and her husband Martin. We felt like royalty, stopping to take pictures of sheep, rolling brooks, and dahlias the size of grapefruit. 

My husband bought a tam, and while we were visiting a local pub, Martin looked at him and laughed: “Yer a reet bobby dazzler!” I was told the proper response is “Eee, by gum!” I agree. The man I married 40 years ago looked charming and so happy!

We laughed more than I can recall in years. As the saying goes, the world is our oyster. 

Karen and Erica write, “We changed the working world … We are a new breed, with much to give and much to do.” Now go find the lustre in your bones!

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter