In a previous post I discussed the concept of legacy. I avoided discussion of financial legacy, which is the most obvious form.
Instead, I preferred to concentrate on what I called one’s “trace in the world”.
A trace in the world, as legacy, could be your charitable works, dedication to family and friends, or, the things you created or did for yourself: art, craft, sport etc.; but - put simply - it’s what you will be/are remembered for; or what you leave behind you.
But this depends on how other people perceive you, a concept we wrestle with our whole lives, and which Robert Burns the Scottish poet summarised in the hope:
“Oh would some power the gift give us, to see ourselves as others see us.” (*)
In your professional life you may have worked in a role that everyone understood (or at least they thought they did), such as bus driver or doctor; or one where most people had no idea of what exactly your job constituted.
But that is in the past, now in postwork do you feel that other people understand what you are about? Perhaps you don’t know yourself and perhaps that is a problem for you? There is an answer: find your meaning.
Retirement: You won’t know what it is like until you get there.
(*) From the poem: To A Louse, On Seeing One on a Lady's Bonnet at Church.