I’m at that stage of my life where I sometimes find myself part of conversations about retirement and also in the company of folk who are thinking about retiring, wishing they were close to retirement, are maybe on the verge of retiring, have recently retired (perhaps) or who have been on retirement for a year or two or more (for whatever reason).
According to the dictionary, retire is defined as ….
- The action or fact of leaving one’s job and ceasing to work; or
- The period of one’s life after leaving one’s job and ceasing to work.
Now, in terms of some of the latest expert views, “the word retirement will disappear in the near future, to be replaced by baby-boomer-type terms like re-direction, regeneration and refirement*” – concepts which I think we ought to be embracing in a new, huge and enthusiastic way.
ART LINKLETTER (late host and author of “KIDS SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS”) and MARK VICTOR HANSEN (Co-creator of the “CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL” series) wrote a book which has just the most wonderful title - ”HOW TO MAKE THE REST OF YOUR LIFE THE BEST OF YOUR LIFE” …. and so while 9-to-5/corporate/full-time careers or ‘jobs’ in terms of looking after children (empty-nesters) may be over for some, we shouldn’t ‘cease to work’, we dare not cease contributing to society in a meaningful way and we certainly ought not to allow something so ‘trivial’ as a number (years of life, years of service, etc) to hold us back from doing what we can still do, would like to do, have been called to do – for e.g.:-
- exploring a new/fresh interest
- learning a craft
- eating more healthily
- taking up a physical activity
- re-decorating the house (or a room in the house)
- gardening (see my previous blog)
- joining a study group or book club
- making new friends
- changing an old way of dressing
- trying a new hairstyle
- volunteering services/skills
- learning to dance and/or sing
- learning to play a musical instrument
- joining a service organisation
- enrolling in a cooking (or any other) course
- mentoring someone younger
- starting a gratitude journal
- writing a life story …..
“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” (Abraham Lincoln)
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”
(C S Lewis)