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Old 11-28-2012, 09:17 AM
 
Location: In the city
1,581 posts, read 3,286,222 times
Reputation: 2357

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I recently got an email from my mom who is in her early 60s. She is one of those "glass half empty" people. Below is a quote from the email:

"I am winding down getting ready for retirement and the final phase of my life. I can't believe it. I hope that your job is terrific and that you will retire while still young and healthy. Hardly any of my friends and acquaintances are still working. I am the last holdout."

Final phase of her life? Seriously? I would be worried-- maybe she has some illness she is not telling me about-- but she has been preparing for death since I was in high school. I really think she wants to die. She doesn't have any major health issues that I am aware of, is traveling to Russia on a cruise in a few months and just came back from another cruise to Alaska. She lives in a great place after a very contentious divorce from my dad, to whom she does not speak (this was about 18 years ago) and has three cars, a cat, and a lucrative job.

I work with people who are at least a decade older than her and holding out to maximize retirement. For my future, I am already being told that traditional retirement is a thing of the past, and that telework, flexible schedules and shared jobs will replace this. I am fine with this as my expectation is not that I will retire and spend my last twenty years fishing in Florida. Should I feel badly for her as her expectation is different?

The subtext of this message is that she wants me to pity her and possibly send her some money. I expect to recieve a follow up with this request as I have int he past. What I am really asking for is someone to weigh in on how to diffuse some of this negativity. How would you respond to this?
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Old 11-28-2012, 03:33 PM
 
Location: San Diego
35,260 posts, read 32,206,769 times
Reputation: 19797
The healthiest thing (for you) is to ignore it and respond in positive. At some point you need to wash out everything you are not in control of. Every family has someone like this.
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Old 11-28-2012, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Florida
2,291 posts, read 4,950,701 times
Reputation: 5236
If she decides to retire, that is her choice. She needs money, let her go back to work, not your problem.
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:02 PM
 
2,043 posts, read 1,951,967 times
Reputation: 3459
That doesn't sound like a depressing email or anything out of the ordinary except to say she is entering another stage of her life without work...it seems like a nice enough email but perhaps with your family background you are reading something into it that isn't there for the typical person?
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:31 PM
 
Location: southwest TN
8,225 posts, read 14,945,860 times
Reputation: 14983
I agree with fumbling - what's so negative? I just entered the final phase of my life and it's a blast. Final phase doesn't mean preparing for death, necessarily. We are children taken care of by our parents, eventually becoming adults/parents, and finally FREE to do what we want/can afford to do without obligations such as jobs and child-rearing.

You mentioned she's taking a cruise - there's her freedom. Join her in welcoming the beginning of the final phase of her life.
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:36 PM
 
Location: Tucson, AZ
175 posts, read 271,021 times
Reputation: 396
Retirement is a big deal. Jobs give people purpose, a place to go and socialize. Way too many people use their jobs as a place to around other people. Sadly some folks only have relationships with their co-workers. Once that is gone, that is it, it is over. Your mother is moving on to a really big change and it can be very scary.
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:16 PM
 
Location: zone 5
7,330 posts, read 13,252,205 times
Reputation: 9611
I'm not getting your subtext of pity and more money here, unless that comes from another part of the email. In one way of breaking down the "phases of life" (childhood, school years, work years) retirement IS the last phase, and that isn't really a negative, although it's an idea a person may have to adjust to at first. That last phase of life can be the most rewarding of all. Of course, we don't know your mother and you do, but based on this one thing, I see no negativity, and certainly no asking for money.
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:56 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
8,733 posts, read 9,991,529 times
Reputation: 7536
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowcatcher View Post
Retirement is a big deal. Jobs give people purpose, a place to go and socialize. Way too many people use their jobs as a place to around other people. Sadly some folks only have relationships with their co-workers. Once that is gone, that is it, it is over. Your mother is moving on to a really big change and it can be very scary.

I agree and didn't see anything about wanting money or pity in there but okay.
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:23 PM
 
Location: earth?
7,288 posts, read 10,866,583 times
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I don't read the email as negative either. Are you familiar with the concept of projection?

Final phase of her life? Yes, it is. Maybe you are in denial?
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:42 PM
 
5,702 posts, read 16,204,588 times
Reputation: 8571
Interesting reading all the responses. I can see the negative. She sounds just like my MIL. My husband gets extremely tense after talking to her. Not everyone's personality comes through in emails but if the OP has a lifetime of her mother being negative then I can see it.

OP, ignore it or reply with something like, "new phases can be wonderful. Enjoy your trip."
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