Retirement! Myriad images are conjured up. Whether a far-reaching dream or on the cusp the vision differs per each candidate. Past generations envisioned retirement as a milestone following some 30 to 40 years of work for the same company. Given the lifespan of past generations, many passed away not too long following retirement. Today, baby-boomers are expecting to live easily 10 to 30 years past the traditional retirement age. Ergo, plans from yesteryear and today differ greatly. Social scientists have been challenged to expound upon the current generation's potential for additional years of concrete plans.
Retirement, therefore, is a milestone towards the next set of life development, which is ...? Herein lies the challenge that is unprecedented. We have few examples to model. My dad passed several years after his retirement. My mom, however, passed on some 20 years after retirement. Many variables factor in when referencing differences between men and women. I will leave that to the social scientists to mull over. What fun!
I can say with some confidence that a medical advance with mindfulness towards preventive medicine has instituted a higher standard of health and well-being.
Today, retirement gets to mean whatever you want it to define for your life. For some, it means, be laid back, take it easy, I deserve it. For others, it means a step into a new consciousness. So long as our creative juices flow, the next state of development holds many mysteries. Sound exciting?
So, retirement can simply mean, I am done with this job and ready to embrace what lies ahead. This opens up lines of fascinating communication possibilities with your spouse/partner, family and friends. Whether volunteering, working full- or part-time, traveling, advancing your wisdom educationally, the possibilities for holistic growth are infinite.
Yeah, you may be a-hurtin, "Oh my back aches, I cannot hear as well, I have what diagnosis, I am lonely," and so on ... This is where I might invite you to use some of your time to sit in silence.
Meditation can be not only soothing for the body; it can open up lines of a great sense ... that is, to listen to ourselves. Prayer also can be invaluable if you are so inclined. There is nothing wrong with a rap session with God. Retirement for many offers a time for reflection and a spiritual connection that offers hope when one's faith is in doubt.
A bit of exercise, good eats and a little love in your heart all contribute to retirement being not a time to die. Moreover, a time of transformation of mind-body-spirit. Remember, we have a possibility to the next generation to teach by example.