When I hit 40, AARP targeted me for their senior services. Just for the record, still haven’t joined. In fact, I have doggedly refused any benefits afforded seniors, aside from Social Security. It’s mine. Paid into the program since landing my first job back in the dark ages. Wait. I did order from the senior’s menu at IHOP a few years back. Does that count?
So, here I am, one month into retirement, reflecting upon…how my life has changed. Let’s see:
- Nobody to tell me what to do – Well, the lone exception is my wife. She’s earned the right.
- Freedom to set my own schedule – Actually, what schedule?
- More time for honey-do – That’s not a melon and definitely not an asset.
- More time for TV – Forget that one. 150+ channels and about 100 of them just sell stuff and the remaining 50 are targeting the 18-49 demographic that I fell out of 18 years ago.
- Freedom to pursue my dreams – And on this point I will pontificate…
Retirement is not, and should not be, about hanging up a RETIRED sign, propping up your feet, and focusing your limited energy and mind power on…the good old days. It is, however, a time for achieving, dreaming, and growing. Nothing wrong with the good old days but that’s not all there is. Something better is yet to come.
Have you heard about Laura Ingalls Wilder? Name may not ring a bell. There was a very popular TV show back in the 1970s called, Little House on the Prairie and it was based on Wilder’s books, the first of which was published when she was 64. Published her last book when she was 76. You, go, girl.
Julia Child’s popular cooking show on PBS began when she was 51. Peter Roget published his first thesaurus when he was 73. (I couldn’t spell “thesaurus” until I was 50.) Ray Kroc was 59 when he franchised McDonalds.
And then there’s the story of Anna Mary Robertson. By age 76 she was so crippled with arthritis that she could no longer handle an embroidery needle. So, she took up painting and became one of America’s most renowned artists. Up until her death at 101 she turned out over a thousand paintings. Way to go, Grandma Moses.
Set goals, dream new dreams and revive old ones. Take what God gave you and do something with it. Remember, you still live IN THE VALLEY OF HOPE.