Retirement Talk

WHAT to do with the rest of your life?


Episode 159 Changing Our Ways


Mac McGyver was retired for twenty-five years. The last few years of his life his doctor kept telling him to do this or that - have this medical test or that. Mac refused. He like to sit on the back porch in the sun and listen to the Seattle Mariners baseball games. If there was no game he would listen to talk radio. He smoked cigars and set still. He wouldn't even walk across the road to look at the ocean and sunset. He died sitting in that chair. He was 85.

This is Retirement Talk. I'm Del Lowery.

We tend to develop daily routines. I suppose its because we feel the routine is worthwhile. Aristotle knew that and advised us to take care with the routines that we establish. We are habitual creatures, he said. He claimed that we are good people because we have developed good habits. I believe that. I know that I'm a creature of habit.

We think about what we want to do with our life and then develop habits that fulfill those thoughts. I suppose not all of us do that. Some of us probably just fall into one thing or another. We don't sit down and consider just exactly what we want to do with our lives. Then we wake up someday and realize that changes need to be made.

I just received a letter from Roy Ingham, an old friend, who is rearranging his life. He has written his life story - so to speak - and come to some conclusions about how he should live. Here's what he plans for every day:

1.  Listen to music daily for at least one half- hour. It will not count if the music is being listened to as background music. He cannot busy himself with other things. "I will sit and give my full attention to the music", he says.

2. Read poetry for one half hour.

3. Beat a frame drum, similar to the kind one sees used by First Nations people in  Canada , for 30 minutes. "I has the effect of putting my mind at rest", he says.

5. Work at my pottery for at least 6 hours per week.  Roy has been throwing pots for over 20 years. This will be a continuation of a habit he long ago established.

6. Commune with nature for 30 minutes each day by taking walks on the beach or in the woods.

7. Take a one hour nap each day. (At 84, this is be coming a necessity; not just a pleasurable activity ) It sounds like he is already practicing this one.

8. Exercise about 4 hours per week- 3 of these swimming. Roy has been doing this one for over 20 years. Again it is a habit that he seems happy with. He wants to continue it.

9. In my relationships with the world, both human and non-human,  I will attempt to love, honor , and respect the Other.  I will not seek ways to control any of the others to whom I relate.

10. Practice yoga or Tai Chi- 2 hours each week.

11, Change the content of my reading from the present ratio of 90% non-fiction to 90% fiction, mainly novels and poetry.

He ends by saying, "I have already begun to enact some of them and plan to become engaged fully in the proposed program within the next month, or about the time of my 85th birthday".

I'm not sure about all of Roy's intended changes, but they look pretty good. He has given it some thought and has a goal. He illustrates one thing. Your never too old to change.


This is Retirement Talk.




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