Redefining Retirement: The Transformative Potential of New Traditions

Updated on November 14, 2023
The Best Destination Spots for New Retirees

As a person ages into retirement, they are often confronted with a profound shift in their daily life, and while retirement offers the gift of time, it also presents a unique challenge – how do you make the most of this newfound freedom? One powerful way to enhance your life during this period is by taking on new adventures, creating new traditions, and breathing new life into old customs. Traditions are not exclusive to holidays or special occasions; they can also be woven into the fabric of everyday life.

Living Live to the Fullest

The residents of Revel Communities embrace the freedom that comes with age, standing as living proof of the transformative power of retirement, illustrating how age is no barrier to personal growth and self-discovery.   

Meet Ruth White, a celebrated figure in the world of sports.  She demonstrates the art of reinvention after retirement. In 1969, at the age of just 17, she etched her name in history as the first African-American fencer to win a Senior National Championship. Her groundbreaking achievements continued when, in 1972, Ruth made history again by becoming the first African-American female fencer to compete in the Olympic Games. Following her extraordinary athletic career, she transitioned into medicine, achieving success there as well. Now in her early 70s, Ruth White has embraced a new passion – painting.  Her life’s journey is not over after retirement, exemplifying the art of personal growth at any age. 

Another Revel resident, Barbara Jordan, embodies the spirit of reimagining traditions. In 1952, 15-year-old Barbara Starke Jordan, made a splash in the world of swimming, securing a coveted spot on the US Olympic swim team and finishing fifth in the 100-meter backstroke. Her swimming prowess was not short-lived; she went on to set records and win numerous swimming titles. Fast forward to today, Barbara continues to nurture her love for swimming by doing an impressive 90 laps every single day. Barbara’s commitment to her lifelong passion is a testament to the enduring power of traditions and the joy they can bring, regardless of age.

Ruth and Barbara are remarkable women, and they are living proof that retirement is a time to thrive, evolve, and explore the full spectrum of your life’s possibilities. There are new adventures to be had, old customs to savor, and personal passions to explore.  All these converge to create a life rich in purpose and meaning.

Advantages of Creating and Updating Traditions

Creating and updating traditions during retirement also offers a variety of advantages that may come with age. Many traditions we hold throughout our lives are intertwined with our work or family life, and as these aspects of our lives evolve or change, so do the traditions tied to them. Creating new traditions can infuse life with a new sense of purpose and relevance, fostering a stronger connection with the changing circumstances of life as we age. By establishing some new traditions, we can create a bridge to the future, helping us adapt to new circumstances that come with us as we age.  

Retirement is an ideal time to delve into passions that may have taken a backseat during your working or family-raising years. Creating new traditions around hobbies and interests — whether it’s volunteering, learning to paint, planting a garden for the first time, learning to play an instrument, or learning a new language — can bring you immense joy and help you find a new purpose. These traditions become sources of continuous learning, growth, and fulfillment as you explore who you are as you age.

Additionally, whether old or newly established, traditions provide stability and routine that are crucial for mental and emotional well-being, especially in retirement. They help structure your days, weeks, and months, offering a comforting predictability that can be especially valuable in a stage of life marked by uncertainty.

Build a Lasting Legacy

One of the most profound aspects of creating new traditions in retirement is the opportunity to build a lasting legacy. Your traditions can be an enduring gift to those who come after you, passing on the wisdom, values, and cherished memories that define your life. Whether it’s teaching a grandchild to bake your secret family recipe or sharing stories from your youth, these traditions ensure that your legacy lives on. Savor and share the richness of your life’s experiences and do not be afraid to create new traditions. How you live your life every day is a reflection of who you are. Do not let your age define you. Instead, let passions, traditions, and customs help you embrace your newfound place in the world of retirement.  

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Danette Opaczewski
COO & EVP, Resident Experience at Revel Communities | + posts

Danette holds 35+ years of experience in the hospitality and real estate industries, where she has created and maintained operating, financial, and brand standards for businesses in the boutique hotel space. Danette applies her expertise and experience from various progressive boutique hospitality companies to her role as Revel’s Chief Operating Officer. She joined the senior housing industry in 2020 and is focused on ensuring that Revel communities perform at the highest level, with an emphasis on customer experience, leading-edge branding, design and overall investment goals.