Let’s reflect on your retirement status. How do you spend your day? What motivates you to get up in the morning? What do you look forward to with excitement?
If you have trouble getting off the couch or if most of your day is spent fulfilling obligations placed on you — rather than planned by you; if you don’t have something that really gets you excited — maybe it is time for to reassessment what retirement means for you.
There were so many years I spent my energy working my butt off to support myself, raise children, etc. Crap, I started working for a paycheck when I was twelve years old and kept on going. It seemed there was never enough time for everything. There were always competing obligations, especially during the time I was a single working mom. I so much looked forward to a time when I could do whatever I damn well pleased. Well, now I can! What a luxury!
Have you ever heard of a “seenager”? The little verse below put a smile on my face when it showed up in my inbox one morning. It speaks to the freedom that we cherish and look forward to as we age.
Recently, I was talking with a woman who retired within the last year. She had a “to do” list that kept her occupied during the first six months. She had a focus, a list of goals – things she wanted to get done. As she was crossing the last “to do” off the list, life began to slow down. Now what?
Many of us in retirement have the freedom to travel without the pressure to shorten the trip because we have to get back to work. That is a real blessing. But, do you have the pocketbook and the stamina to travel all the time? Do you have a spouse or family to travel with or visit? Great! Do you plan to travel the world for the rest of your life? If not, now what?
Do you remember George Burns?
I read an old yellowed copy of a former best seller by George Burns the other day, How To Live To Be 100 or More — The Ultimate Diet, Sex and Exercise Book. In famous comedian style George mostly helps us laugh at ourselves with quips like “At my age, sex gets second billing”.
But there is one chapter in the book where George consciously decides not to be funny because he wants to make a point. He says: I —-will—-never—-retire! I firmly believe that you should keep working as long as you can. And if you can’t, try to find something that will interest you. Don’t wait for it to happen; make it happen. Keep your mind and body active. Remember, you can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.
Maybe what is really important is that we have a positive attitude toward our retirement days and something that motivates us — that gets us out of bed in the more! You have a wealth of knowledge that you have accumulated over a life time! Why leave it sitting on the shelf? Maybe you just need to refocus it when you retire.
Or, there are the big things, the things that go way beyond a “to do” list. Hopes and dreams you have had over a life time that you never had the time or the opportunity to pursue. Or maybe you are afraid you will fail. Is now the time?
I may be overly optimistic, or maybe just gullible. But I would rather fail or even die chasing a dream than live a hum drum life without a dream.
Do not dismiss yourself as too old. And don’t let anyone dismiss you as over the hill. Don’t allow yourself to be discouraged or believe that you are not really with it. Or don’t have whatever it takes to succeed.
God gave you this day. What are you going to do with it? I would really like to hear what you think. So, please add your comments or questions below.
I will sign off for now with a short clip on an 84-year-old Kenyan man, Kimani Maruge who enrolled in the first grade at the age of 84. You are never too old to learn something new. Find something you want and go for it.