Sunday, August 5, 2012

you might remember this day

Sorry - couldn't resist.  Click on the picture for a larger view.

I don't know if anybody feels just this way on retirement, and labeling it Best Senior Moment may not always be appropriate.  The larger point may be that retirement provides a new outlook on living, on motivation, attitude, desire, interests, and other attributes that are important for living.

The freedom to do what you want when you want is the best part of it.  There's always something to do, unless you're just not looking, and it's nice to be able to say, "I guess I can do that tomorrow."

A neighbor retired several years ago, and I asked him one day how he was adapting.  He was a teacher, so he was accustomed to summers off, but it was still a transition for him.  Until one day he was painting a window on his garage and he said, "I suddenly realized - I'm retired - I don't HAVE to do this today.  So I put the brush into the can and just walked away."

In the last couple years before I retired from financial services I was putting on seminars at various offices.  Since retirement is a key focus of financial services the seminar was popular.  The title was "What's My Number?"  Attendees were folks in their 50's or later looking at retirement and trying to figure out how/when, or they were folks already retired.

The basis of the seminar was a book by that same name, a book that explored issues of retirement, and preparing to live well in retirement with that new outlook mentioned above.  I found several commonalities in the attendees, no matter where we did the presentation.
  • An adjustment period was common.  "He" sometimes got in the way in the kitchen, "they" needed to learn how to spend time together, and one or the other, mostly "he" would need to have his escape location, a Man Cave.  In all cases that adjustment was done amicably, and both parties had the ability to laugh about it.
  • Everyone was busy.  There was never a lack of things to do, and grandkids consumed a lot of time.
  • Every bit as much as they had experienced in their working years, retirees would use "To Do" lists regularly.  At first that caught me off-guard, thinking if you have plenty of time and no other demands for your time, why not just do things as the moment allowed?  Very likely it's just an old habit hard to break, because I do the very same thing myself today, trying to allocate time and events with preparation.
There were other interesting habits and practices but those three were the ones that hit the top of the list.  I suppose we all adapt in our own way, but I have yet to hear anybody say he/she regrets having made the move.  Life is good.  Except for those who failed to plan ahead.

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