Retirement: Doing Your Best

Jul 5th, 2010 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Aging brings with it a profusion of new challenges and experiences which requires our readiness to be ready to engage them.  By the time of retirement, most couples are retired.  They have made their plans accordingly.  They either remain in their traditional home or move away, usually to a place that offers more opportunities for focusing on themselves.  By this time the investments in children have paid off and they are off and on their own, thankfully. 

While that is not always the case, and in these times, households are often stretched to continue caring for and assisting children without work or a place to live.  This is but one of those challenges to emerge as we age.  There are more.  Depending upon when one chooses to retire, there is usually a respite period which allows for full focus on the things you always wanted to do: travel, fix up your home, move to another location, explore new and exciting things to do, make more friends, either nurture your roots where they are or transplant them, dote over the grandchildren. 

While this period varies in length, usually because of health and other unexpected interferences, it is marked as a blissful time and fully one that is deserved. Lots of retirees map out their year to year plans, making certain they will have enough time to squeeze in everything possible before the shadows of limitation start descending upon them.  We know a couple who plan an annual, lengthy international trip.  They have done so for years.  They have no children, so they are free to choose how they want to entertain themselves.  A friend often joins them.  It is a refreshing way to live out those weeks in the summer when such travel is desirable. 

Doing your best, however, may also include other inevitable and necessary uses of time and attention.  If older parents are a part of your scenario, as we have discussed here before, some caregiving responsibility may befall you. If this is the case, time considerations for this need will be necessary.  If there are other siblings who can share in this undertaking, that, of course, will enable assuming less heavy a load.  Beyond that, your own health issues will need to be managed with care and sensitivity.  Obviously keeping yourself in good health will permit longer and more productive days for your own life.  If both you and your spouse are in good health all the better.  I have known those, who while one is ill and the other is the caregiver, continue to be quite active.  Depends on your abilities to assume whatever conditions with which you are met.  Doing your best is not just a cliche, it is a mandate which reminds us that that is all we can do.  In doing it, we will continue to plant seeds that will require harvesting later on.  In doing our best, we will be able to be a richer, more wholesome and more enjoyable human being to be around.

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