What to do when your significant other or spouse retires – and you are still working? READJUSTMENT TIME!!!

We have been a two career family for as long as I can remember. I know when I sold my last business some 6 years ago, my son and daughter in law were pretty nervous. They had visions of my arriving on their doorsteps unannounced with plans to reorganise their lives. The rest of the family were also a bit concerned. What would I do with my time? Was I going to become depressed?

Well, none of their fears were realized. Indeed I started this blog and Rockin’ Grandma Music so that has kept me  very busy – and I have reinvented myself yet again ( 6th time in my career) and now serve on both for profit public and private boards -as well as a number of non-profit and educational institutional boards, and spend a fair amount of time ‘giving back’.  Below is an event that I chaired for The National Association of Corporate Directors on October 9th last year, along with one of the directors who participated. So I am not sitting on my hands that is for sure!

Did I reorganize everyone’s lives? I must admit to arranging more family events than in the past – but that coincided with the birth of 11 small ones all under the age of 5 – so there are plenty of reasons ( 11 to be exact) to get the family together.

Staying healthy is paramount if I want to live to see my grandchildren married – and possibly even great grandchildren.

I do play paddle tennis weekly ( badly), and golf ( worse) very occasionally – and swim daily -which I love  – as well as work out with pilates and other trainers. Keeping healthy, stimulated and connected could be a full time job – but fortunately my grandkids are the center of my heart – so whenever I am called upon by my son and daughter in law to help, I am there if humanly possible.

Lately however, a number of my female CEO business colleagues have been expressing their concerns about their husbands/significant others, who are taking retirement while they are still completely engaged in their careers. This can be a huge challenge.

Fortunately I am married to a man with so many hobbies that, even though he is a busy orthopedic surgeon, he does not have enough time to do all the things he loves to do outside of orthopedics.

Other spouses however, are not always in that same category.

You have no doubt heard the old adage – I married you for life but not for lunch?

Having a spouse who used to be busy, successful and in demand who now has his major focus, when you will be home from work, and what’s for dinner, is a recipe for a stressful home environment.

So what can one do?

Many successful people have no hobbies. Sad but true. Their professional lives have been so all consuming that they have no time for anything but that, as well as limited child-rearing.

‘Join something’ I would recommend -something that interests you – whether hiking, mountain climbing, bike riding, religion, whatever. But find another community of people where you can tell all your jokes ( they have not heard them yet), spin all your tales ( they will listen rather than glaze over) and if possible, become the chair of the group – that will give you status and prestige.

I would love to hear the solutions from others who are going through the same thing….any ideas to add?


About Grandma

I have reinvented myself many times during my life -teacher, lawyer, business woman, CEO, Entrepreneur, Board member, Professor, Mom, Wife, Farmer, Chef, Musician, Author and now my best role of all – Grandma to multiple grandchildren, grandnephews and nieces worldwide.

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