Column by David G. Ronquillo
I am experiencing a life-imitates-art moment.
Before I go any further, I urge anyone in retirement to go see “The Intern.” I would recommend any Robert De Niro film, but this one especially hits home for us Boomers who find ourselves retired from work but unwilling to retire to a rocking chair.
De Niro portrays a 70-something retired executive, who answers an ad for “senior intern wanted” at a start-up Internet fashion firm as a way of relieving his unending boredom.
There’s no spoiler alert here, but suffice to say the movie’s funniest moments arise from how a wizened senior citizen schools a bunch of 20- and 30-somethings on how things got done back in the day — and how time honored values still apply.
I saw the theme of the movie as “finding fulfilling opportunities in retirement.”
Until recently, I had found myself in somewhat of the same boat of boredom as De Niro’s character. I had been retired for about four years and kept busy with some volunteer work and the mystery books I had so long put on the back burner. But writing and dealing with the publishing world can be tedious and frustrating. The reward of gaining an avid and loyal readership is slow in coming.
So it was then when I learned of a position available with AmeriCorps, revealed during a volunteer moment at AARP Colorado. I leaped at the chance to get accepted into the program. After a somewhat lengthy and involved application process over the Internet, I was gratified to learn I had been selected to become a Community Health Worker with a non-profit agency of AmeriCorps, Boomers Leading Change in Health. The host site is AARP Colorado in Denver.
My main duties will be meeting with groups of older Latino adults — arranged by AARP Colorado — to inform and educate them of available coverage through the Affordable Care Act. I expect to make many of these presentations in Spanish.
I am fortunate that in this position I will utilize practically every skill set I have acquired during my working career in providing assistance to an underserved segment of the community. I have found my own fulfilling opportunity in retirement as De Niro’s character did in the film.
I think of myself as an example of the AARP concept of “Life Re-imagined,” which advocates seniors grabbing new opportunities in retirement that were not available during years and years of toiling in and surviving the work-a-day world. I urge all retirees to look around and seek new opportunities of fulfillment. You may find something rewarding.
It beats that rocking chair on the porch.