Published May 27, 2014 by

The Rules?, Your Attitude, Your Long Happy Life

Friends of mine were recently married and I attended their wedding. Some other friends joked that I shouldn’t be going to weddings any more. “At your age you should be going to retirement parties.”  I am unaware of the guidelines related to age appropriate social events.  Perhaps I can purchase a manual?

When I tell people that I have “retired” they think that means I am sitting on a beach and no longer have any interests or stress. We all know that “retired” has a new meaning for most people whether it happens at age 50 or 80.  Most “retired” people are now busier and have more opportunities to learn, grow, and help others ever before.

I have stopped using the word “retired” when describing my life.  It seems to prompt people to say things that can feel insulting.  I now focus on a short summary of the work I do now rather than even mention things of the past.   It feels more comfortable to focus on today with an eye toward tomorrow.  Yesterday is over.

I find it fascinating when people tell me that they could never “retire” from their life long career because they fear that they wouldn’t know what to do with themselves.  These people should focus on all the amazing opportunities to mix things up, expand their brains, and even help those in need.

Who makes these rules? For all of my life I have lived by my own rules, my own schedule, and my own sense of age appropriate.  I continue to believe that we should all live in a “room without a roof.”  You should continue to believe that you can do whatever you desire. 

I am doing research for a book on “diversity” and one of my focuses is on working with and managing “older” people.  We all know the list of reasons why the workforce in aging.  Recently, I have been reading a book called “Aging As A Spiritual Practice” by Lewis Richmond.  If you want to know what you need to do to remain vital as you age, this is the book for you.

Richmond cites that you need to conquer “the Five Fears”.   They are Fear of Death, Illness, Losing One’s Mind, Livelihood, and Fear of Public Speaking.  This list may feel overwhelming but if you pause and think about each of these, most are not so difficult to overcome especially if you maintain a life rich with “work,” endless possibilities, and healthy relationships.

I find the more important and constructive advice from Richmond’s book to be about the “lifestyle” things your should be doing to keep yourself happy, healthy, and relevant.  Many of these are obvious like attention to diet, exercise, stress levels, recreation, and fostering healthy relationships both with others, yourself, and spiritually.

I especially like the advice to spend more “time in nature” and to serve others.  I continue to find spending time outdoors (and taking lots of long conscious deep breaths) to be extremely invigorating and reignites my sense of endless possibilities.  Serving others may have been something I have always done in some form,  but serving those less fortunate than myself has always given me a turbo charge.  I believe that I get more personal satisfaction and happiness than those I am hoping to help.

Its great when a young person asks me “how did you get so good at this” or “how can I be like you.”   I always tell them that there is no reason they can’t be even better………regardless of their age.

Son of a Postman