To Work or Not: The Seniors’ Dilemma

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To Work or Not

When asked if she was still working, my 70-year old friend responded, I love being at work. It keeps my mind working. I’m still thinking of what to do when I retire rather than eat, watch tv, sleep, repeat.

But isn’t work a repetition as well of what we had been doing for years? Isn’t retirement an opportunity to explore something new? Isn’t this a unique chance to try out some of our dreams and desires and give them a reality?

Often a dilemma that seniors face, many opt to stay at work where they are engaged and have a network of friends to socialize within the work environment. Somehow, when you retire, you lose touch with these people. More than ever now, many Seniors decide to work because they need extra money to support their retirement. Work is not a choice but a necessity.

Many other Seniors couldn’t wait for that last day of work, and many of them have created a life they never dreamt of before. The impetus could be the big move to a place closer to their grandchildren. Or it could be to start that business they had wanted to do. Or give more time to hobbies they enjoy doing like going to the cinema, art shows, museums and traveling to different places to appreciate other people’s culture and ways of life. There are varied reasons for decisions we make, and none of these are wrong. 

Our decision is very personal, centered on many considerations that fill our lives. But, maybe, there’s more to just these considerations. Deep inside us are desires that, when listened to, may direct us to new paths we haven’t even thought of before.

Maybe, retirement is our specific moment to do this. Listen to that desire deep within us, that something for which we want to give our all, whatever it takes to make it happen. When we do this, I guarantee that success and joy will come. There might be a genius idea waiting for you to express, a desire so strong that nobody or nothing can stop you from making it happen. But whatever the reason, for many, this is the time to make a change. Today is your time.

But then, you ask yourself, what does it take to do this? Do I have what it takes to make this happen? There are more approaches than one to do the change. Whatever path you follow, there are some general steps you can start right now. 

First, keep our minds open. Because we hesitate to change, we view the opportunities and see only the barriers, dangers, and problems. We have our set ways, and we keep being in that even if our lives have changed and we have aged, we can hardly do those things anymore. We can’t give up and let go. We need to pass on the wisdom of our experience to the new generation, not the jobs they crave often.

Second, keep your ear to the ground for innovative businesses people are starting now. You might stumble into one of these, which will be the inspiration you need.

Third, read up on what other Seniors are engaged in or are starting and developing. Sometimes, our vision is limited, so we need to enrich it with what others are trying out.

Fourth, listen to what you truly desire. The demands of current work and responsibilities often silence the longings deep inside us, but they are there just waiting for us to lend them our ears. To truly hear, we need to be humble and listen to what our aging body tells us. At our age, the calls are different. They could not be the usual things we do, so listen.

Fifth, there are many courses we can take to pursue these desires. So, there is no reason to be discouraged from pursuing your new wish. YouTube alone and Podcasts can teach us new skills or knowledge we need to start. Listen to some of these and find out which has a strong resonance to your inner self.

Have courage and move on. You’ll never know. You might be the toast of the town a year after you say goodbye to that job.