My husband, Art, and I recently presented the first part of a three session program on Surviving Retirment with the Life Long Learning Program at the University of Rhode Island. The participants included those who had been retired for a few years, those who had been retired less than a year and one who was looking forward to her husband’s retirement in three months. Initially we talked about each person’s dreams and concerns for this particular stage of life. Then we began discussing the importance of preparing for this potentially wonderful time.
Without fail, it seemed that everyone somehow stated their desire––or delight––in finding a cause, a goal or an activity they feel passionate about. But what does it mean to feel passionate about something? For those attending the workshop it meant…something that makes them feel good about how they spend their days…something that gives them a reason to get up in the morning or something that helps them make an impact for others.
One of the beauties of retirement is that, for the most part, we choose how we spend our days and how we identify what gives meaning to our lives. No one can tell you what that is. You alone know what you long to do. I have a friend who loves spending hours playing the piano as she never had time to do it while working. Another has started creating beautiful sculptures, and yet another, who spends his days in a wheel chair, continues to be active in various organizations in his community.
The world is your oyster if you choose to let it be. No mater your situation, there’s something out there that will add spark to your retirement years. It’s up to you to let it happen. To quote Dave Bernard in a recent article, “Retirees or retirees-to-be, the time to begin our search is now. An incredible, inspiring, exciting and fulfilling second act awaits us if we spend our time wisely in pursuit of what we love most. For each of us the journey has already begun and we have no time to waste!”
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