This is the second part in a two part series concerning what to do after retiring. These are just some examples of what has worked for me and I am sure others over the years. They follow the Spinozian idea of the nature of happiness.
We don't really know how long we will live. That presents a problem when we consider retirement. No way of getting around that unknown fact. We have to make our best guess. Then we have to make the most of it.
"Time to eat" my mother would say. And we would all bound to the table. It was a delightful moment. It still is - even more so. Retirement offers us time to prepare, consume and enjoy food like no other time in our life. With just a little thought, effort - and help - we can take this activity to a new level.
Are we really helping when we help? Or are we just enabling? Sometimes it is hard to tell. But it is an important question. We do want to help but sometimes we goes to far and interferes with someone else's independence. Too much help can be stifling. Retired people have lots of opportunities to help or hinder.
Change comes so fast it is impossible to not feel overwhelmed at times. We hear our children or grandchildren talk and don't quite know the language. We can kick back and let it all go. Must we always be learning something new? Choices, choices, choices.
If we are going to a lead a retired life with meaning it is obligatory to pause: to pause and think. When we retire we have a bit more time for reflection. We need to build it into our busy schedule. Time to think.
Is being irresponsible always bad? Some people seem to look on it as nothing more than taking a bit of a risk. That can't be all bad. Retirement rids us of lots of responsibility and opens the door for walking a bit more, or even a lot more, on the edge.
We can spend a lot of time on things of which we have no control. Our thoughts and sleep can be cut short. It might be best to accept what we must and focus on those things we can control or at least influence. Our life can be better.
There is no friend like an old friend. Someone must have said that. Retirement allows us time to reach back and reconnect. It also allows us time to reach out and make new friends. It may involves a little risk and require a little effort.
Retiring and exploring go hand in hand. At least they can. Many believe they have to jump on a jet to far distant places to explore. Not so. Many new experiences can be had very close to home for those attuned.
Life ends for all of us. We all want to die without pain if we can. Medical Directives allow our best chance to do that. Our view of death is usually formed via television. It is so very misleading. What to do?
We want to know about our parents history. We want to know about our grandparents history. We need to share our stories with younger members of the family. It does them good and it also helps us review our own lives. Now is the time.
We don't want to look back on our lives with the classic, "Would've, Could've, Should've" thought taking up residence in our minds. And we certainly don't want to go into retirement and create even more.
Sometimes we just find ourselves stuck one way or the other. We just can't get on with our life. Retirement can become that way without some effort and thought. We need to engage the mind before we become stuck.
Reading allows the mind to wander uninhibited. It allows us expand our view of everything in the universe. Retirement allows us the good fortune to maximize this pleasure. We need to be aware of it to appreciate it.
Regrets accumulate as we move through life. We have all uttered the words , "If I could just do that over". Retirement brings time to either deal with the regrets in a positive fashion or get buried by them. Time to give it a little thought.
We know that we have limits in life. Sometimes we don't know what those limits are and when they may no longer be valid. Retirement life brings some new limits into our life. Being aware of these limits removes frustration and allows us to move smoothly through the remainder of our life.
In retirement we are as free as we have ever been to become the person we have always dreamed of being. We can examine the life we have led and the life we would like to create. We may bring this unique opportunity into our conscious mind and act upon it. (Part 2)
Parents give meaning to our lives as children; then teachers and then bosses. Family and work responsibilities shape much of our interests and time. Then comes retirement and many of us find ourselves in a unique position. We can finally choose our own meaning. For some, it is not so easy. (Part 1)
We all get a bit careless at times. When we move into retirement it is time we need to consider this carefully when it comes to falling. We might be okay to fall in love again but just plain falling requires our utmost attention. We need to take it up a level.
I swore I would never get on a bus with a bunch of older people. Then I did. Here is the story. It is also a story about Lifelong Learning as presented through a university. Something I thought I would never do either. Then I did.
We can always change. Retirement brings us the opportunity to realize that in a big way. We just have to want it. We must rid ourselves of the old adage, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks." That is just not true.
Retirement offers us a chance to consider life more closely than when we are busy with work. One thing most of us find that it takes a little less to make us happy. We can jettison lots of ideas and stuff. Happiness doesn't come from just having more.
Entering retirement is like entering a new land. We can play it safe and stay where everyone else does. Or, we can use our imagination and venture out into the areas we have never explored. The choice is ours.
Taking a road trip seems to be high on the list of most of us whether we are retired or not. Here is a short podcast of the methods and habits that have proven valuable to us on several such ventures. A good road trip involves more than just driving down the road. It takes some thought.
One thing about getting older: we have all experienced winning and loosing at one thing or another. That is a good thing because we are not done. We learn to roll with the punch, get better prepared for the next sequence and know that the wheel will turn.
Retirement is a perfect time to venture into some experiences for which we never had time. Meditation seems to be all the rage right now. Of course it has been around for centuries. I never thought it was for me but a recent exploration has proven most worthwhile. We, my wife and I, sleep better.
Death becomes a very personal issue for each of us - especially when we enter the retirement zone. We sometime find that we must make arrangement for cremation, burial or natural burials. It is something that requires consideration.
Rugged individualism is embedded into our culture. We want the individual to succeed. We also want our government to succeed. Our government demands that we cooperate with each other. The word "We" becomes most important.
We all know how important it is to see a job through to the end. By the time we retire we should have learned the importance of perseverance and a passion for what we are doing. Challenges in retirement call for the same qualities. We need to stay with it. It calls for grit.
We don't know how much time we have left to live. Or how much time we have left where we can physically and mentally do almost anything we want. Age is continuously taking steps. How does this influence our daily choices?
Catching up with old friends, co-workers, or old students is a most enjoyable experience. For me, it has been well worth the time and effort. Retirement offers time to slow down just a bit and reach far and wide.
A sense of having value in life is a basic need. We all want to be accepted as contributing to the general well being. Retirement provides a real test as to just how mature we have become. Our mind must be in shape.
When it comes to politics, we are all involved one way or the other. Right up until our dying day politics has a way of reaching out and being part of our lives. Some of us get involved with an idea to effect change and others of us just tolerate the relationship. We have to choose.
What kind of people live next door? We can live next to them for years and never know. Why is that? Sometimes we need to just reach out and extend a welcoming hand even if we have lived next to each other for years. We might be pleasantly surprised.
What do we remember? What can we pass along to our children, grandchildren and others? One thing about it: if we can't couch it in a story we might as well keep it to ourselves. Seems like the story is what it is all about.
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