5 tips for thriving after an unexpected medical retirement

Some people work all of their adult lives anticipating the joys of retirement. Planned retirement can be very exciting. But unplanned retirement — particularly due to a cancer diagnosis — can be overwhelming. My acute myeloid leukemia diagnosis forced me to take an early retirement from teaching seventh grade civics in 2013. But everything in life is an adjustment. This was just one more. Although it took a little while for me to find my way, now I couldn’t be more content. Perseverance has allowed me to flourish. Here are five other things I’ve done that have helped me adjust. Think positive It’s important to acknowledge the down days, but don’t dwell on them. Try to look on the bright side and find something to smile about each day: practice your faith, give thanks, take a walk or do something for others. Even clean house to release pent-up energy. It will make you feel good! I’m convinced that my attitude had a tremendous impact on my recovery from leukemia, as well as my adjustment to no longer working. Get involved Take up a hobby or volunteer for a cause close to your heart. Rekindle a passion or learn something new and seek out others with the same interests. Check with your local senior center for computer, art or exercise classes, as well as lectures. I’ve learned how to make baskets, joined a book club and am eager to start taking dance lessons. I’ve always wanted to learn the fox trot, cha-cha, tap and other styles. Be sociable Nurture your friendships, both new and old. Call up your friends and...