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Friday, August 2, 2013

Have you noticed how you have grown?

No, this sideways picture is here to show you the way we grow after we have grown! You might think I mean this in a physical way. Yes, but also in many unanticipated ways.

When I first retired, years ago, I was desperate to find a new pace, a new passion that would make me get out of bed and jump into an activity that would keep me focused for hours and hours. I knew I would enjoy combing the beaches, and that reason alone, plus the fact that these beaches are for the most part easy to walk, made us move here to Oregon.

But one cannot walk all day.

I knew I liked gardening, and my new place had plenty of space and new challenges to keep me busy and contented for hours. But I needed more. Especially for those long winter months when both walking and gardening were not possible. Whenever I heard of an opportunity to volunteer for this or that, I eagerly jumped in. Soon, I was  busy everyday, my calendar as full as the time I worked.

When you retire, you will start with a few hobbies, perhaps traveling, reading...
Then, because you want to stay in touch with friends, or make new friends, you'll join a variety of civic clubs, and soon you begin to volunteer to take leadership roles in as many groups as you can fit in. When you talk to your children or old friends, you'll list all the stuff you are doing as though this new resume will keep your reputation intact.

The truth is that we feel good when we're active, when we have a purpose.

But your life will change dramatically before you know it. A fall, an illness, a debilitating change in your lifestyle will rob you of that get-up and go self you used to be. Anticipate that you will change, that change is inevitable; anticipate that your resources will also change as you begin to hire people to do things you used to do for yourself.

But you will still have a wealth of experiences and opportunities in front of you at this time of your life.

Dive in! Everything you ever wanted to do before can be done now. Sleep late so you can go out dancing after dark. Learn a new hobby, even if you suck at it. Join groups, even if you know nobody else. If you don't like doing something, fine, don't do it. Nobody can force you; you can quit when you want.

Best of all, this "Goldergarten" experience  is free. 



16 comments:

mxtodis123 said...

I am a new retiree...only since July 12th. I thoroughly enjoyed this post.
Mary

Helen said...

Nobody tells it quite like it is ~~ except you of course!

I wholeheartedly agree...

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

You have stated it very well. Keeping active is key to keeping alert and well. The more we move our bodies the better!
My days are filled with many challenges and I'm glad to have the internet skills that help me keep up with todays world. It's changing ever so fast.

yaya said...

I've watched my Mom age gracefully and fully over her retirement years. She's 87 and has traveled the world..worked 2 different jobs after retiring from the hospital and kept up a home. She was a widow from age 50 and has done all this with friends or alone. She always jokes that she was afraid to stop or "it" would get you..what ever "it" was! She still helps babysit great-grandkiddos! I admire her and hope to be in the same good frame of mind and body as she is. She still lives in the same home my Dad built in 1951. She doesn't do the lawn work anymore and my sister now lives with her and helps out in many ways. Mom just recently decided to stop driving...smart girl! It's hard to say "when", but smart to realize when it's time. Have a good weekend and I admire you and your can-do spirit!

Helga said...

Due to the fact that you were and are a teacher, you have contributed to others all your life. Now, you have found and chosen the right environment for involvement, volunteering and creativity, it seems to me. Curiosity, interest and a great deal of courage are required to step out of the day-to-day routines to meet new people and to find new purpose and fulfillment. I admire you for your willingness to put yourself out to new experiences.

Brian Miller said...

i like the freedom that come sin just not doing something if you find you dont like it...we can stick with some things far too long...because we feel obligated....

have a great weekend...we are on vacation, so i am a bit slow in getting around...smiles.

the walking man said...

Rosaria the whole retirement came up on me so suddenly and fast just BAM!! It took me years to rise from the torpor and then to find something i could afford to hobby at. Turns out I was able to combine my love of literature and little brats and work at the Detroit Public School Reading Volunteer program...I helped 6 kids improve this past year...I still say War and Peace by third grade!

Rhodesia said...

Suddely I find I have grown that way as well and I am fighting it!! 5 more kgs off and I will be happy :-) Have a good day Diane

Kathleen McCoy said...

Wonderful, thoughtful post, Rosaria -- and so true! Retirement reality can change even in a short time -- and in an instant if one has a fall or a serious illness. I think the idea of giving of oneself in a variety of ways is so important. I see too many retirees parked in front of the t.v. not knowing what to do with their lives, at a time when they could still be active if they chose.

Boodhooram Ignoramus said...

Goldergarten
did you proposed this word? very appropriate. thanks.

Maggie May said...

You have to learn to adapt as the time and situations change. I think that is the answer really.
Maggie x

Nuts in May

Tom Sightings said...

A great new motto: Dive in!

mxtodis123 said...

Just wanted to let you know that I'd be honored for you to highlight my blog.
Mary

Munir said...

I love your suggestions and I will keep them in mind.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Rosaria .. there is so much to do - I simply can't do it all and would so love to do more - I need to organise my life ... but that's happening ..

You did live in the most beautiful part of the world ..

Wonderful to see you enjoying your times .. cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Rosaria .. being busy and involved is the best way of life .. keeps us young in mind and body - constantly buzzing around ..

Good for you - you've set some great examples .. cheers Hilary