I lost an article I worked on for hours and am distraught. I felt inspired to write that article. I was happy about it, but it got lost in the process of posting it. I got angry at myself. I had only my stupidity to blame. Or my ignorance or carelessness.
I took time out to escape the state I was in when I lost it. Many tries at retrieving it frustrated me that the only way left for me was to give it up, let it go, and start anew.
As I relaxed more, I reflected on it. Losing is so much a part of our lives. It happens almost every day. We lose an object we like, our pet dies, or someone takes our plant. The worst is when a loved one passes on to another life. It leaves us angry, disappointed, afraid, or empty.
I sat down again to write, hoping to recapture the article. I know this is only my way of dealing with the unfortunate situation, but it will not return. I must let go and keep living and creating something new and different. Instead of moping and thinking of the lost one, I focused on creating something new. Yet, the loss kept coming back. The feeling of anger is still there. The disappointment prevents me from thinking. I knew I had to give it time to let it go. It is gone. It is not gone to me, though.
Losing is a daily occurrence. I thought over 70 years that I would be a pro at this pattern of accepting and letting go. No, every event is new. Every event makes me go through the process once more. Is there ever an end to this. Will I ever grow muscles to let go when I lose someone or something quickly?
People tell me to keep myself busy. I’m trying to do that, but the struggle between the loss and the new creation gives me a headache. It continues to play in my mind. Ah, the mind. It refuses to let go.
The only way is for me to quiet my mind down. I can’t fight it. I can only allow its unfolding process or go beyond it. I know I am not my mind, Nor am I my body. I am not the things I lost. No matter how precious they are, they are not me. They are their own. I need to set them free so that they can be. I am my being, and letting them go, allows me to be.
It is this being that I need to be in touch with, to be in its core, so I don’t get lost when I lose things. I know this truth, but each loss brings it back for me to understand it fully. Each day, I need to remember that losing is part of life.
I can watch the unfolding of things, including the loss, and let it be. Being in Me is an anchor. I am.
Well, what says you? I have been retired for some years now and so are my friends. Not only that, many in my circle have now passed on—a staggering reality for many Seniors.
My husband passed away three years ago, and only today, another in our high school class more than 50 years ago also died.
Death is so much a part of life. More so in our senior years. The earlier we accept this reality, the better will be our appreciation when it takes place in our lives.
We all dread it, I understand. But, at one time or another, someone who is so much a part of our life passes on. The pain and the loss are something you don’t want to wish on, even your worst enemy.
How do you go through this? How do you manage? When, even amid fun, the memory of the loved one who passed on occupies your thoughts? How do you forget?
How do you hold the tears that, at any moment, pour out? How can you enjoy anything when your thoughts often return to not being there?
Loss can be debilitating. It can ground you in misery, fear, and loneliness. Even with supportive family and friends, it is not like having your loved one there.
Here are some lessons I’ve learned:
I realized how valuable companionship is, to have someone to laugh with, express your fears, foresee your reaction and smile at it understandably, hold your hand when the movie scares you, or discuss the often perplexing events in today’s world.
I have to learn to do many things on my own. Eating out alone in a restaurant gives me a bit of discomfort. Or going to a movie or a show on my own. There’s no one to whisper some comments to or share your delight over a dish or a performance.
I don’t enjoy long drives alone. When my husband was around, our long drives were moments of getting to know things in our past, childhood, or thoughts about many things. The sharing somehow becomes more intimate and genuine. Listening to the radio now doesn’t cut it.
I don’t enjoy socializing on my own. It’s like half is missing. My husband was very gregarious and never wanting for words and stories. I, on the other hand, would prefer only to listen. Now, I have to talk more. Maybe, this is not so bad after all.
It’s always fun to have someone around you to harass, laugh with, cry on, love, and be loved. No matter how much you search for a replacement, it is not the same. Mourn your loss. It is important to do this. However, you have to move on and look for ways to live life after your loss. It is not the end. It is the beginning of something different, fascinating and satisfying when you allow yourself to experience it.
A friend told me that those who died are still with us, and I like this. I talk to my husband all the time. When driving, I ask him to help me navigate the traffic, make it easy to merge on the highway, and don’t forget to close the gas cover or leave my credit card or wallet on the pump.
I see friends in other countries. At least I have company in seeing places and enjoying restaurants in those cities. I see friends where I live.
I have learned to be close to family, travel with them once in a while, visit them, and hang out with them. As was the case before, I have come to appreciate them more as I relate with them directly and not through my husband.
I have worked on my fears and my tendency to depend on someone. I learn to do things like driving long distances, fixing things, taking care of things on my own, and dealing with loneliness.
Each one of us deals with loss in a different way.
But I have many friends who have lived alone because they have not married, divorced, or widowed. I’ve learned how to take things in stride from them and not let matters overwhelm me. They kept telling me that they’d done it for many years. Why am I complaining? Somehow, this pushes me to do the things I dread doing.
After three years, I feel I’m getting into the rhythm of living alone. As much as the first day it happened, I am still my husband, but I can cope with life alone.
I found how valuable a good relationship with our families and friends is. It’s strong support as I deal with my loss. I don’t think I would have managed if not for these relationships.
I woke up surprised to see it was 6:30. I slept so well and straight through, which does not happen often. I took on a relaxed position and started my meditation. Something new in me wants to be recognized. It brought joy.
I started to listen, and slowly it revealed itself. It is Me. I felt its joy, freedom, freshness, and exhilaration to come out of whatever box I hid it in all these years.
Somehow, I managed to craft a self that fits whatever my environment requires all these years. I did it so well that I eventually believed it was me.
Yes, I lived it well and fooled many but not myself. I felt the restlessness, the need to get away, and the anger when someone goes near the hidden one.
I was a success, so no one thought there was something wrong except for the more discerning of my friends, who sometimes brought it up.
My body tells me the truth. It cannot stand straight. I was tired most of the time, even when I did nothing. When I host a party, I always need a week of quiet after that.
Sometimes, I take time to meditate and go inside my quiet self, but I have hidden it so well that even I forgot where it was. I could not envision it because I have fully identified with my crafted self. I shared deep insights into myself with some friends after my meditation. Not only that, I took some courses to help me go deeper into myself, so I thought I was okay.
Wisdom seemed to flow from me that I thought there was nothing else I needed to do. A friend of mine finally agreed that I perhaps have nothing else to do with myself until my next reincarnation, but this proved not true.
Here I am in Spain. I had a vague feeling that this would be my second birth. I told my friend that I was here for “me time.” The schedule of life here allowed for this. It was now eight in the morning, and I could hardly hear a noise except the sound of my keyboard.
Another good thing about my trip here was my stay in a convent. My friend here is a nun and invited me to stay in the convent, where I rested when I arrived. It afforded me the quiet and solitude that I needed. The atmosphere of prayer somehow healed my soul and may have invited the real me to come out. There was not much interaction, so there was no one to please or entertain.
This atmosphere may have coaxed my true self to take the courage to show itself. It was the start of the advent season, and on the altar, there was a big picture of Mary pondering things in her heart. I carried this image with me as I went through my days of quiet and prayer.
Today was the fulfillment when I met for the first time my authentic self. I felt it. I rejoiced with it. Inside of me, something new and beautiful emerges, robust and confident not to be swayed by comments or expectations. I love it.
It took me seventy years, but this doesn’t matter. What matters is that I found it. My senior years will be one of the profound joy of being who I truly am, not perfect but beautiful, not whole but becoming, a being that lives its depth and keeps rooting itself in it.
No matter how small our places are, we can continually create some cozy corners where we can unwind and enjoy the things we love to do. Yes, creating spaces where we can make this relaxation happen needs to be a top priority for many seniors.
We stay much more in our places now because of the restrictions due to the pandemic. Even without the Covid pandemic, it is always a comforting experience to enter your home when calming and relaxing. Thus, it is crucial to our well-being that we make the places we live, no matter how tiny, very relaxing.
During the day, relaxing for even a short moment is crucial to our mental health. You’ll probably say that’s what I do every moment now. Maybe, but I will tell you my latest experience.
There was a time in one of my slouches on the sofa, a favorite position during the pandemic lockdown, my mind turned to quiet. It moved its focus on my body, and I started to listen. My body felt so tense even when all day, I watched Netflix. I thought I felt relaxed as I did not do anything stressful.
My body told me otherwise, so I continued listening. I started to listen to each part of my body where I felt the tension. At that moment, I realized how stressed my body parts were. I then decided to do something about it.
First, I cleaned out the clutter in my place. I have given up my house for a two-bedroom condo in the heart of the city. After three years, I quickly filled it up. The books alone that I got attached to already filled up so many spaces. So, I searched on the Condo website to see if someone was renting storage. I found one, contacted the owner, and rented it. I also have storage, but I filled that up fast. The amount is something I could take out of my entertainment budget, and for my mental health, the investment was worth it. The acquisition, I believed, was good for my mental balance.
Second, I gave away things I did not need. I gifted them to friends. Third, I stopped buying. I continued to check out stores for new designs and products, which I enjoy doing, but I left these products at the store. Unless it is a hundred percent fit to what I was looking for, I did not get it. I often went home with only a few food items that I consumed immediately in my forays downtown. I felt lighter and happier.
Fourth, I managed my “por si acaso” (just in case) attitude. This phrase means buying things just in case there is a need for them. I threw out the thought each time it came to me in the store.
Fifth, I transformed cozy corners in my condo into places of relaxation, and here are the pictures. The first picture is a reading corner, the second is a coffee corner, and the third is a lounging area. These three places give me options to do some of the things I enjoy.
Finally, I abandoned my sofa for a large part of the day with these relaxing places and instead found solace in these other areas. While the real work is within ourselves, these places promote a sense of well-being, enabling us to do more interior work. Indeed, creating relaxing corners in our home makes for a healthy being, and we must give it more attention. I wish you luck in your effort.
The other day, I got a call from a friend. She asked me how my summer was, to which I replied, we had so much fun with the family together, but it was tiring with so many late nights, drinking, eating, dock time in the sun, and hanging out.
Immediately, my friend reacted. You had so much fun, but….why the but? I got a bit defensive, but I fully understood her question and her reaction. She waited for my answer, which was a stumbling explanation of something I needed to face within me. I wanted to evade the question, but my friend did not want to let go.
My friend and I talked about the way our minds work. The judgments we often heard had largely conditioned us and had allowed this conditioning to influence our thinking. We had not freed ourselves from it. We had been unaware of such a way of thinking that we went through life doing exactly that.
This conversation with my friend triggered a reckoning on my part of how my mind worked. Why couldn’t I savour the positive experiences? Why was my mind prone to thinking about the negative?
There were so many positive events that happened in my life which I hadn’t turned into positive experiences. I had experienced these positively but had judged it afterward, and they had become so-so with the negative judgments weighing upon them. When asked about it, that negative judgment was the first thing that came up.
Why was this so?
Because we never savoured our positive experiences for fear that it would make us less good, it never stayed with us as much as the negative judgments did. We never revisited these joyous moments, so what stayed with us were only the negative comments we made about the experience. Thus, we grew up full of negative judgments.
Even around us, we listen to the news, and we often hear these comments, “too little, too late.”
There is so much focus on the negative as if these negative sell more than the positive. The focus is mainly on the negative.
It’s time we turn this around. My friend and I discussed what we could do about this propensity for negative thoughts. These are some of the things we decided to do.
First, understand better how the brain functions and rewire it for happiness. There are many articles and videos on the brain as people start understanding how the brain works. This development is a significant plus to our collective consciousness.
Second, clean up little by little the traces of negative thoughts we have accumulated. These traces of negativity require a thorough cleaning but not to worry. Face them as they come. I have many of these, and when they manifest themselves, I revisit them and savor the positive experiences sans the negative judgments. Then, I say goodbye to them and never again revisit them. I leave them to the past where they belong.
Third, savor positive experiences. Many of our experiences are fun. However, we remember the negative judgments people around us made or our negative judgments of aspects of that experience because of how our minds worked.
Fourth, build gratitude. Every moment you think about your life, think of the many things you are happy about it. We will always find many things. As we practice doing this every day, gratitude becomes the pervading feeling in our lives.
Fifth, surround ourselves with positive influences and tune out the negative. Some people make you feel happy. Be with them and limit your interaction with people who tend to be negative in their judgments. Enjoy life. There is so much positive around us when we focus on them.
Finally, forgive. Let go of the hurts that we have harbored for years. They have affected us adversely for so long, and that’s enough. We now leave them where they belong. We are new beings now, and these things no longer have any influence on us.
I was glad that my friend brought this negativity to my awareness when telling her about my summer experience. I then revisited my summer experience and savoured the fun we had as a family, the sharing be it of books, music, or movies we’ve watched recently.
I focused on the positive and the fun and enjoyment we’ve had. I realized how rich and satisfying the experience was and appreciated every moment of it.
Sleep is the body’s natural way of relieving stress, relaxing tired muscles, energizing the system, and making the body strong and healthy. Studies proved that people must sleep for at least eight hours a day for the body to function well.
However, due to our crazy lifestyle and the troubles the battles that go on in the day by day life, we short change ourselves of sleep.
Sleep deprivation refers to the body’s lack of sleep due to many factors. And once you miss it, it’s gone. You can’t make up for it. So, why is sleep deprivation a common occurrence in today’s Seniors? What are the causes, symptoms, and effects of the no snooze body bruise!
Causes of Sleep Deprivation
There are many explainable causes of sleep deprivation:
First, it could be because of your own choice. Sometimes you sleep very late at night because you still have work to finish or enjoy watching movies or prefer finishing a book you have started to read. Some nuts think it shows toughness to be able to crimp on the Z’s. This idiocy is inexplicable!
Next, illness can also keep you awake most of the night. You have medicines to take, and the feeling of discomfort brought about by illness can disrupt you. Some medicines contain stimulants, which make it hard for sleep to come by.
Then there’s the utter doofustry of the mega meal before crashing. The meal’s digestive consequences lead to the great toss and turn, and little rest.
Furthermore, your sleeping environment can be the cause too. If you are new to a place, you live in a noisy neighborhood, or the room is too hot or cold, you will not be able to sleep soundly at all. On the other hand, some people suffer from sleep disorders like snoring and sleep apnea. Or the midnight kickers with legs flailing.
How can you tell that you are already depriving yourself of sleep?
The symptoms of sleep deprivation are many. The first sign is the constant yawning. Sometimes, you will sleep in the middle of a meeting or when you are working on something. You find yourself groggy, especially in the morning. You feel like you no longer want to get out of your bed. Heroic dreamers leap to life as they kill dragons or fall off cliffs.
And the consequences of sleep shortfall?
A shortfall in sleep makes you feel out of sorts. You become irritable, moody, and hot-tempered. You snap at people and become easily affected by the most superficial changes or problems. You also start to lose concentration.
It seems you no longer focus on the matters at hand and began to commit more mistakes. Your nose becomes painful as you doze and slam your fact into the table.
Depriving yourself of sleep…or more correctly, depriving yourself of rest, is very unhealthy.
There are many nasty effects of sleep deprivation:
For starters, it can significantly affect your work performance. You will lack the drive to work, become less efficient, and commit many mistakes. You will no longer be able to make wise decisions or get along with your fellow workers.
Next, it can be detrimental to your health. You will become thinner since you are always restless, and you lack appetite. You may get dark circles under your eyes, and your skin may become dry and wrinkly.
Remedies for sleep deprivation
So…prepare for sleep as you would for a marathon or an important event.
• Make sure the room temperature is comfortable, and the mattress works for you.
• How many pillows? How big? How soft?
• Duvet or blankets. Think. It all makes a difference to your comfort.
• Exercise between a moderate dinner and hitting the sheets. No coffee or coke.
• Booze? Hahahaha.
• White noise? It works for some.
• Snore proofer? Lots available over the counter.
Sleep with no rest makes no sense. There are so many things you can do to stay youthful, healthy, and strong. But you will get a head start by sleeping correctly and giving your body enough rest.
Life is a gift of the Universe. Retirement is a time to wake up. Awaken to all the possibilities life brings. Finally, the challenges of raising a family and racing to the top of your career are behind you. Start anew.
How do we do this? Explore your area. Familiarize yourself with all the resources you can find around you. Take a more in-depth look now. Don’t just pass by. By the time you get home, your mind will be full of ideas about how to make your retirement fun.
FUN is the word. Forget all the obligations that tied you down all these years. This time is for you. We live in a time when it is best to grow old. Why am I saying this? We have all the resources to live as fully as we want. If you’re going somewhere, there’s active transport. Uber and Lyft are willing to bring you anywhere. There are discounts for Seniors for the activities you might think of doing, so what’s keeping you from enjoying your retirement?
Ah, many things do this to you. I know it so well because I have experienced them as well. There are countless worries about your health, finances, safety and many more. We can easily list a thousand and one reasons to keep ourselves from having fun.
Time to wake up, to be aware of the things around us. But what is more crucial is to be mindful of our environment and ourselves. With waking up, we are not just talking about fun. Make it fun, but the other result of waking up is a change in awareness.
When before, we were always busy about many things, now is the time to go deeper and inward into ourselves. Now, we have more time to listen to ourselves as there are not a hundred things to do on our list. Sometimes, there is nothing to do.
With the recent lockdown, you had so much time because of the limited social interaction. Many of you were upset that you couldn’t see your families, especially your grandchildren. You miss all of them. But now, it is the best time to go into yourself and become a better person so you can be a gift to your families. Imagine their wonder when they see you – your newly transformed self, the New You.
Waking Up is not a significant activity at all. It will not take too much time. All you need to start is allocate a few minutes every morning upon waking up. Spend a few minutes in silence, listening to your inner self. You will be surprised at what you’ll discover. Look at yourself closely and learn to appreciate it. Maybe you’ll find something you may not like at all. Look at it. Know it better and transform it. Right now, at your age, you already have the resources to deal with anything you’ll find. Your experience managing your life successfully for over 60 years is enough qualification. You are certified by experience to handle any of your discoveries. Embrace all – both the positive and the negative. These are just sides of the whole, opposite sides of our single self.
Seniors, what is that WOW you so desire? This is your chance at living it. Some of us may think this WOW is beyond our means. Maybe it is. But this is the challenge and having one at retirement makes life more exciting.
We are now retired for 20 years the joy of early retirement) and each year is an adventure. Some are fun and easy and smooth sailing. Others are more challenging but all these contribute to what retirement is all about.
Before we retired, we struggled about what we will do. We had options laid out. We were clear about what we did not want but for what we want to do, we had no clue at all.
I can clearly remember the many walks we had on Siesta Key beach in Florida talking endlessly of what we want to do, each of us often left with thoughts on what the implications of these possibilities are.
We were concerned. We were uncertain. We were afraid of what the future held for us. We were afraid of where our dreams would bring us or how the dream of one of us would affect our lives. We hesitated to think as we did not want so many changes to our already happy existence.
But we knew that we could not just sit and watch endless streams of movies on television. We had to explore opportunities out there. We were still too young not to be engaged.
Once we started, we just kept going. We used our experience to start our own consulting and we just did this for 20 years. We cannot even tell you how much we enjoyed it. Until now, we have friends and colleagues all over the world with whom we worked and shared life.
We would take contracts only scheduled for the winter months which we wanted to avoid in Canada. Summer months were reserved for family. Our families lived in different parts of the world so Summer became our special time with each other.
Enough of my own experience. Now, back to you.
What image comes to you when retirement looms in your horizon? The end of fun? A quiet life? A trip somewhere? A life with family? Live your dream?
Most of us think of that day when we can do what we really like. Often, we associate this with retirement. But I tell you honestly, many of us who are now retired sometimes feel that we still are not able to do this.
Yes, we find that our days are spent in countless little errands that by the time the day is over, there is no more time to do what we really like other than stretch out and have that glass of wine. Does this count? Most of our friends will definitely say yes.
Of course, it depends on your own goal.
Many retirees enjoy doing little errands and taking care of grandchildren. Full-time grandmas fill up their time and this is their life.
I know many of my friends do this and they enjoy it. They go with their grandchildren to their swimming practise, piano lessons or bring them to school. it depends on what you enjoy doing.
My husband is not the only one. We just worked with someone who is 73 years old and had already 3 heart attacks. He loves to collect rare ceramics in blue and he works to be able to buy the more expensive ones which may overstretch his retirement pension.
Younger people now work harder and smarter to reach a much younger age to retire and be able to live the lifestyle they want. Others, just declare early retirement and live it NOW.
The style you choose to live your retirement depends on you. Many people now retire early. Once they have achieved their commitment and goals, they’re gone. But many, continue to get engaged. My husband retired when he was 53.
He was one of those lucky ones to have that freedom at such a younger age but he continued working until he passed on at 75. This time, he was doing what he really likes. He was no longer responsible for an organization so the stress was less and he enjoyed what he was doing.
How will you live your retirement?
The quality of your retirement will largely depend on the plan you have laid out not when you’re about to retire but early in your life.
There are retirement concerns you can plan for but there are others you will only discover when you are retired. But planning for the ones you know will help you deal with those concerns that you only find out as you live your retirement.
The good news is you have more wisdom to deal with these challenges so look forward to these as opportunities to expand your life. Having these challenges may still be the best thing that will ever happen to you.
The voyage to retirement is often much better than the reality of arriving and sitting on your duff waiting to turn off the switch!
While the Senior years can be a dream world which most of us eagerly anticipate, their arrival can be a bit of a let-down. I’ll bet you have friends with too much time on their hands, bored, restless, and ultimately less content than they were when dreaming of the vintage years’ sunny beaches.
Hobbies, whether they’re low-key or reach-for-the-stars, are one of the best and most time-honoured ways to “de-retire” or at least ward off the “it’s all over blues”.
In fact, many retirees credit their hobbies with keeping them young…or at least keeping them alive! Look next to you. If your Grumpy is sliding up to retirement with no real activities in the planning bag, act now. An active Grumpy is a joy compared with a gnarled couch spud parked in a broken lawn chair!
One of our friends clearly said that she can listen to her husband talk about his collections for up to 30 minutes but beyond that, she just can’t do it so she wants her husband to volunteer in a museum. There, he can share about his knowledge and people will appreciate it.
We laughed when our friend shared this but we are in the same boat. I used to teasingly ask my husband when we walk in our city streets who would be his next victim. Once he engages the person to a conversation, the person is doomed. Unless, the person is able to extricate himself, it could take a good amount of time.
How to Choose a Hobby
No hobby? No problem – choosing one is exciting, and couldn’t be simpler. Remember back in high school, when a counsellor asked you what you would do for a living if you didn’t have to worry about money? Now’s the time to indulge that passion!
If you find yourself stuck, there are several things you can try. Asking your buddies is a great way to go and watching their activities for ideas. What draws your interest.? What really gets you excited? They may provide answers that surprise you!
Sitting down and letting your mind drift is another great way to choose a hobby. Don’t let Grumpy do this one…he’ll simply doze off! What do you daydream about? Where does your mind go, during the course of a normal day, when you’re not focused on an activity? These can be excellent indicators of the territory where you’ll find a hobby you’ll truly love.
If all else fails, you can try researching hobbies online. You’re not the only one ‘stuck’ trying to find engagement. You’ll find many a wild range of ideas stuck together by desperate oldies that refuse to rust out, including lists of things to try in order to discover a pastime.
These ‘mini’ hobby lists often ask you to try one activity for just a few hours. In most cases, you’ll know right away if a particular activity is something you’ll enjoy. From chess to car repair, knitting to gardening all the way to bird watching (the feathered kind…keep Grumpy glued!)
Revitalizing a Current Hobby
Perhaps you already have a hobby, but your enthusiasm has flagged over the years. If you still feel a basic interest in this particular activity, there are plenty of ways to revitalize that yesteryear hobby and make it feel brand-new! (Ahhh..if only we could do that with our Grumpies!)
Gardening is, perhaps, one of the most popular hobbies for people of all ages. In fact, it’s even becoming trendy! As a result, there are resources out there which you may never have considered. Your area may have a community garden, a place where locals volunteer their time.
A friend of ours who also happens to be our doctore decided to fold up her practice and do gardening. She has never been happier. Everyday, she dances in her fields as she looks forward to the produce she can enjoy. What agreat way to destress your life.
The resulting bounty is usually either enjoyed during communal meals or donated to a local food bank. How about a herb patch on a balcony or a few butterfly magnet flowers close to your door.
If you’d rather garden closer to home, why not try something completely new? Try your hand at heirlooms – these unbelievably delicious and brightly-coloured varieties haven’t changed a bit for (often) over one hundred years! It’s better to grow heirlooms than become one.
Perhaps you’ve always enjoyed fishing on weekends and holidays. Now’s the perfect time to upgrade your equipment, try out an undiscovered fishing spot, or even take a fishing vacation! Experienced guides are available all over the world, whether you’re after walleye or sharks! Listen to an audiobook while dangling your line.
I used to love painting but did not have much time to hone in my skills. Now, I have time and I enjoy learning how to use the different media from watercolours to oils and acrylics. It helps in dealing with boredom and loneliness as well as gives direction to one’s days.
Some of my Senior friends learn new skills like sewing and enjoy creating clothes for themselves. It is only when you try several possibilities that you discover what really makes you feel alive and happy. So, keep trying out new hobbies until you settle on one that really makes your days worth looking forward to.
Some Seniors even earn from their hobbies. I met two Seniors when I visited Quebec City. One is a painter and he has a stall right in the tourist area of Quebec City and he uses his talent to paint people. My friend and I had ourselves painted and we enjoyed the experience so much. I think we also put smiles in the faces of people passing and looking at us.
The other one loves to sing and she sings in a park close to the famous Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City. She even has records of her songs that she sells to those who love listening to her. Not only does she earn, she also makes so many people happy as they stop, sit in one of the benches and sing along with her. Some tourists even dance as they listen to her. What a wonderful way to live one’s Senior years.
Regardless of your current hobby, the same principles can be applied. Do a bit of research and build on an activity you already enjoy. This will give your hobby a new life, and lend some real excitement to your retirement! Grumpy loves birds and spends time whistling in the garden in full communication. Bird feeders…baths…..birdhouses…a whirling inferno of feathered tweeters. Having a hobby is everything!
Thirty-five years of working for “the man” and the feet are going up.
I am outta here! Life plan? No kidding, it’s retirement.
The money is just about enough…the debts are nil…..I’ve done fairly well….. give me my parachute!
Getting to the magic age when we can say goodbye to our 9-5 job and enjoy our freedom is a big golden dream that carries many folks through employment thick and thin. Lawyer, manager, caretaker or caregiver…the vision carries us on.
As we work our hours and pay our retirement and pension plans, we look forward to this like a desert hiker looks forward to a glass of water. Schemes and dreams as we build the means and endless panting blather to whoever will listen.
The plan is solid…..we think, without realizing that we are just focusing on the financial part of retirement and forgetting what we really need is a life plan.
How is retirement like?
Having fun yet?
Are you enjoying your retirement?
The dream is thinning like a New England fog. A massive billboard comes up on the Life Highway with an Uncle Sam like finger-pointing at our forehead saying “YOU ARE BORED”.
OK…something part-time so I don’t have to stare at the dog 24/7. Not so easy.
We can hardly find jobs even at the burger-flipping level because there are so many young ones in line ahead.
Even volunteer jobs are tough to find as students compete to complete their community involvement points required by most schools.
Try to get an extra street to canvass in the annual Stroke and Heart door to door and the granny mafia will attack with umbrellas.
Some have gone online, opened a blog and are doing very well. (Thank goodness for WordPress and its ilk). Others build trains, fly miniature planes, paint and sculpt or just become pests as an unwanted neighbourhood watch peeking out their windows.
Each of us has a different experience. I have friends who are very happy working in their garden, doing crafts, becoming full-time grandparents and washing their cars.
Some have gone online, opened a blog and are doing very well. Others build trains, fly miniature planes, paint and sculpt or just become pests as an unwanted neighbourhood watch peeking out their windows.
Did you have a life plan for retirement? Below are some of the varied answers we get:
Yes, I planned very well my life after retiring from my job
No, I just wanted out, I did not even bother to think about it
I had dreams of things I wanted to do but did not really plan for it
I had ideas but that’s all
Bismarck, the master planner of 65 as the key retirement age didn’t talk much about life planning as he assumed we would all be dead at 67. (He was right in the late 19th century). A lifetime of bad food, dangerous jobs and quixotic health care usually didn’t result in a long leisurely retirement.
The world then was a bad Dickens novel with brutish and short as key descriptors of life. This does not seem to be true now when people are still healthy when they retire and hang on for 2 decades or more before eternity.
The first day…..the first month….maybe the first six months……”man…this is livin'” After a year in retirement, when we have read books till we Kindle Callused and played golf/tennis/tai chi till the image palled.
When you have visited all the places on your bucket list and listened to Bach until your eyes were crossed…. so many retirees, yourself included, realize that the books look blurred, the games are slow motion and the travel budget is competing with the insurance bills. Hmmmmmm.