#1: When you are old do not amble through life, but charge ahead with purpose and urgency. That ambling shit is what makes us old.
Perception – and you all know what I think about perception- Nietzsche and all that.
Younger folk are driven to live. Must get up, must go to work, must do for children, do, do, do, and glad at the end of the day when well deserved rest is achieved. Days off and vacation are celebrated. When I retire life will be sweet. No rush, no need to be somewhere, doing something often equates to doddering.
This old girl wonders if there should be lessons on retiring. Not this advertised crap about tennis, golf and travel and comfortable worry free living. That doesn’t apply to most of us. But lessons on living with purpose; having a sense of urgency that gets us up out of that bed.
In the obligated stress of pre-retirement life there is often a desire to believe we will become stress free. Not gonna happen. Remove the ‘have to’ of your existence and you are often left with the ‘whaaaa’?
I once heard a statistic from the Ministry of Health that more than 80% of seniors in Nursing Homes are depressed. Guess what? It’s not just in Nursing Homes.
Imagine you are running a marathon; Sweating, grunting, breathless effort that fills you with exhaustion and energy all at the same time. Finally you reach the finish line and everyone cheers. There are awards and gifts and then the crowd goes off to their busy lives and you are left standing holding a card that says ‘You made it! You retired! Your work is done!
Now you figure you can slip into a lower gear and slow down. But what if the exertion of the race is what kept you going and succeeding, kept you young? What if a lower gear is just the beginning of a slippery slope?
For many of us pre-retirement is energy. And energy begets more energy. Changing our Mondays to Fridays and making everyday a Saturday is not a good thing when it goes on day after day after day.
Passivity is the biggest danger to aging. We passively watch others live their lives, and we suddenly find ourselves on the fringes of life – looking in.
The life giving sense of urgency can be as simple and the desire to get out of bed and make our tea. Watching TV doesn’t even have to be passive if we get engaged in what we are seeing or hearing. Engagement.
And we all have to find our own paths in this. A list from me isn’t going to help anyone. I have been retired for seven full years, just beginning my eighth and I am just figuring some of this out. It’s been on my mind, teased me with niggling thoughts like little pieces of a puzzle and I am just getting enough of a picture ….more to come I am sure.