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 If the water is too pure, there are no fish. T’ai Ken T’an

I recently read the above quote in the Little Book of Zen and realized how much it speaks of a happy, fulfilling retirement. When retirement became reality for my husband and me, I pictured a life where I could read tons of books, where my husband and I could travel to all sorts of Paradises and where life would be calm and serene with no one and nothing to muddy our waters Sounds good, doesn’t it? But is it real?

Recently our life has been extremely busy, and I discovered that it’s ok for that to happen. When life is too calm, we often have a tendency to get set in our ways or stop learning new things, and this makes us “old” retirees. When our lives are free of new challenges, we’re not forced to create something, or cope or respond to something we hadn’t planned. This can make us dull or boring. Consequently, I say, “hats off” to the unexpected or for major changes in our lives and routines.

Have you ever felt that your retired life was becoming a bit dull or that you were losing interest in what was going on in the world? If so, you might want to mix it up a bit. Invite all your friends and relatives to visit, offer to take care of your grandchildren for a week, take a new class, join a gym, write a book…or whatever it is that you don’t normally do. Just as the fish enrich the water in which they swim, new activities will enrich your life. It may sometimes feel a bit messy, but you’ll likely be more alert, more satisfied and even, more content.

For as long as most of us have been out of school, it still seems that September is a time for new beginnings. What will you add to your life for a new beginning, and how will it enrich your life? We’d love to hear what you have planned. Share it, and you can be assured that your terrific idea will likely inspire someone else to create another terrific idea. The comment section below awaits your inspiration!

The sketch is borrowed from an article by Jessica Hagy in Forbes Magazine. It offers helpful tips you might enjoy on being an interesting “retiree”.

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