Retirement and life cycles
Retirement and life cycles—what could they possibly have in common?
Recently, while driving from Rhode Island to Massachusetts, the stunning variety of fall color caught my attention. Though I’ve witnessed New England’s miraculous display for over fifty years, this time seemed different. The robust variety of color prompted me to consider how seasons of the year reflect the seasons of life.
What, you might wonder, could trees possibly have to do with retirement or life. Quite a bit I think, and I hope you’ll enjoy considering this possibility with me. Just as humans are different in each life stage, deciduous trees undergo a process from spring through winter that marks their response to their life cycle.
However, if you think about it for a moment you might experience a new outlook on the beauty of moving into retirement.
How retirement and life cycles do correspond
Have you ever thought about how, in the beginning of each spring, trees start budding from the dead of winter. The earth warms the roots and prompts growth. Soon the buds take on the personality that reflects their particular species. For me, this spectacle generates a sense of hope and joy each year. Do you have the same experience as you witness this new life generating in our environment?
A child’s birth often sparks similar joy and expectation. Many people (especially grandparents) become mesmerized by the infant’s slightest accomplishment. A smile, an accidental roll over or a seeming recognition of someone entering a room brings excitement. Perhaps newborns create delight and expectations similar to the budding of spring trees.
The second Life cycle
As early spring moves along, we witness the trees’ development toward maturity. Blossoms become spring leaves in startling lime or pale green colors. Next, for the summer show, leaves fill the trees in a mature variety of deeply rich greens. This cycle seems similar to the maturation babies experience when moving through their teens toward their full growth and abilities.
Then comes the fall season, my primary reason for identifying a semblance between the life of trees and humans. Having accomplished its summer duties, the trees’ chlorophyll breaks down and allows the yellow and orange colors to appear. That however, does not mean that trees are weakening or are less attractive. In fact, they project a new grandeur and strength. This, I believe is also true for most seniors. Those who choose to remain happy and productive retain a majestic allure and are an inspiration to all. Having provided the earth with beauty, fresh air and cool breezes, trees stand in testament of a job well done. Having shared their goodness and skills with others, seniors also stand in testament of a job well done.
I know a beautiful woman who is well into her 80s. She willing shares her wealth of experience and sparkles with the joy of life and kindness. Consequently, she strikes me as a golden queen, just as the golden leaves I saw while driving along the highway.
Have you created your own majestic retirement and life cycle that matches your goals?
Just in case you’d like more information on creating your own exquisite retirement, you might want to read Robert Laura’s piece on Adjusting to Retirement.
Another article to consider is Create Your Own Joyful Retirement
Photo courtesy of Eric Przekop of Flickr