For many, add the underlying awareness that there are fewer days ahead than behind, and this emotional shift becomes even more weighty, he added. "Time is more precious. Questions of purpose and legacy are in the foreground. This may sound depressing, but for many people it is a strong motivation to make the most of this time. "
The human connection
Part of the fear stems from a loss of identity when people stop working, according to Dorian Mintzer, who is retiring Trainer, "Often people do not realize the role work has played in their lives – the structure that has provided them, the reason to get up in the morning, self-esteem, fellowship, camaraderie. This is the emotional piece that captures people who do not notice, "she said.
Compounding that can put pressure on feeling happy. "Some people are not prepared for something mourning, and that's why they feel sad and depressed when this is the best time of their lives," Ms. Mintzer said.
It took several years for the 73-year-old Phyllis Rhoton, who hired Ms. Mintzer, to find something was missing. Ten years ago, for health reasons, she haphazardly withdrew from her job as a customer service representative for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.
"In the first years I took care of myself. I have done many things that I could not do during my work. I traveled and visited friends and family. My mother was ill and I spent a lot of time taking care of her. Then everyone died-my aunt, my brother, my mother. My family has shrunk, "said Ms. Rhoton, who is single and has no children.
"That's part of aging, but I felt there was a vacuum, I just watched Netflix the whole time, and that's not real."
Working with Ms. Mintzer helped her realize that she missed the human connection. So, Ms. Rhoton, who lives in Medford, Massachusetts, enrolled in folk high school courses. She has studied Vietnamese cooking, public speaking and teaching English as a second language and is still enrolling for new courses. "I meet new people and my thoughts have become engaged again," she said. "It is fun."
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