I had the opportunity to run into a deputy sheriff colleague of mine about eight months after he retired. Of course, the questions was, “how do you like being retired?” His response surprised me. He said, “you can only cut the grass and prune the petunias so many times.” He was bored, depressed and felt useless after a lifetime of contributing to his community. He lost his way, and this unfortunately is common among many who retire. My friend eventually went back to work for the police agency from which he retired as a part-time officer, doing menial duties for just over minimum wage. But he was happy.
Most of us don’t have the opportunity to “go back to work” after retirement. However, we can find a lot of places locally where we can volunteer our services, utilizing a lifetime of wisdom and knowledge. Just where do you “fit in?”
There are local boards that don’t require an election, such as planning boards, code enforcement boards, pension boards, recreation boards, etc. Check with City Hall to see where there are openings.
Community organizations also have boards of directors to help steer them to success in their various missions. These include the YMCA, local Red Cross, United Way, Boys and Girls Clubs, and others. Community hospitals have various boards, as well as local healthcare-related organizations.
Your local schools and colleges are always looking for volunteers in all aspects of their operations. Teaching assistants, advisory boards and directors are all needed. Check with the school board and colleges for more information.
All of these organizations have a need for volunteers to help meet and exceed their missions. HouseSpouse Barbara is a healthcare professional who spent her career helping patients and later organizations get better volunteers on the local YMCA board, bringing her ideas of performance improvement and quality assurance to their mission – and is a very welcome addition to the organization.
So don’t sit at home waiting for something to happen. Make something happen yourself. You have an abundance of knowledge and wisdom that you have gained over a lifetime of making decisions and making mistakes. Pay that forward.