Seniors: Retirement is a Time to Care

Feb 24th, 2011 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Reaching retirement is much like finishing a race.  When one has crossed the finish line all kinds of new experiences await, while old patterns are changed.  No more going to work every morning.  No more office parties.  No more following the same day in/day out routine. 

It is a time that offers new vistas, new opportunities, new behaviors.  Perhaps it is also a time to sharpen some patterns of behavior left too long ignored.  Like caring.  Now is the time to care.  Now is the time to show how you care.  Now is the time to exercise caring behavior with all with whom you traffic. 

What do I mean?  Right now is a good time to start flexing your care.  Madison, Wisconsin, is fraught with people who are demonstrating their care, about their jobs, their future, their welfare.  How do you share their care?  Christchurch, New Zealand is in the midst, as not long ago so was Haiti, because of a major natural disaster.  How do we participate in caring?  Libya is torn by the upheaval, long overdue, of a people who are tired of the oppression by their leadership.  What is our response in caring? 

Assuming that these issues do not apply to our need to care means that understanding how to care, how to demonstrate caring is a skill that needs sharpening.  The poet, John Donne, characterized it thus: “no man (person)  is an island.”  Here we are, like it or not, when retirement offers all kinds of luxuries, recreational opportunites, travel (if you dare) explorations.  It also offers a time to care. 

Our daughter and son in law, not retired, spent Christmas Day this year sharing in feeding the homeless. Perhaps this is rehearsal for retirement. 

Our borther in law, spends one day a week leading tours of a major attraction in Scottsdale, Az.  Many of the poeple who come are retirees.  Perhaps this is a way to care about expanding one’s horizons. 

You know examples of caring in your own circles of acquaintance.  How do you see people genuinely demonstrating caring beyond themselves?  What choices do you make for investing your time in others?  How do you spread caring behavior?

If all we do in retirement is to care for our own self-centered needs, that isn’t going to be enough.  We need to reach out, stand up, be a part of the lives of others.  How we do that, how we come to decide what we do, how long we spend at it will pay its dividends in how we feel about ourselves and the world about us. 

Isn’t it time we decided that retirement is for caring?



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  1. Seniors: Retirement is a Time to Care | Senior Citizen Journal…

    Here at World Spinner we are debating the same thing……

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by maturenews and Sharon Shaw Elrod, AlzDallas. AlzDallas said: #seniorcitizen Seniors: Retirement is a Time to Care: Reaching retirement is much like finishing a race. When o… http://bit.ly/h9IcHZ [...]

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