Ageing & post-retirement life

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Sunil Vaid
Oh, God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference.
We must accept that we will age. Getting older should be fun and we should be happy and contented in our selves. Let us not use age as an excuse, then what is the fun of growing. Obviously aging is inescapable and end is inevitable, then why not we live life fully. Most of us working in our professions think that aging and retirement go hand in hand. But it is transition from work life to home life with less stress as a senior. Why should we grumble getting older, and if we do, we start getting older then we actually are. Getting older or aging can be great and enjoyable if handled right. For us Age should mean ‘Aging gracefully every day’ and not ‘Aging grumpy every day’. George Bernard Shaw said, ‘You don’t stop laughing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing’ .So being senior in today’s World is to be merry and consider it as a laughing matter.
We retire after three decades or more either in a demanding job or boring job, either in a high- flying job or a nondescript job; you retire either in a senior position or in a junior position. But all the retired people have the same issue -How to spend the post retirement life happily and meaningfully? All of a sudden you are a free bird, as free as a bird can be. You have all the time with you. No boss no work, retirement kitty and in most cases, no major family responsibilities, as children are already settled or on verge of settlement. And you have another 15 to 20 years of active life before you.
Post retirement life is a new beautiful chapter beginning in our lives. Earning money or reemployment should be last option. To select the right course for post retirement life, one need to identify one’s core competencies and the activities that will make one happy and that bring out best in a person. Retired people with literary interest can consider a book based on their work experiences. They can pursue their hobbies further such as acting, singing, painting and gardening etc. Those with rural heart can opt for organic farming in their villages and in the process can be a mentor and changing agent for the entire village. Some social works like working for under privileged children is a healthy option which will serve the society at large.
Age and time have nothing to with goals and lofty dreams. Be determined and cheerful in whatever situation you may find yourself and no matter what life throws at you. A best secret to stay young after you retire is actually nothing invincible except your spirits, so keeping the smile and humour matters. Find new dreams for you every day. People do love their grandchildren but they are not their sole responsibility and in a few years will be grown-up and independent. First and foremost, we have responsibility towards our spouse and respect their feelings. After retirement one must assure himself that basic needs physiological (Air, Water, Food, Clothing and shelter) and safety needs (personal and financial security, health and well-being) have been best met before one focuses on secondary and higher-level needs such as love and belongings, esteem and self actualisation. Dave Ramsey has rightly said, “You must have control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you”. Retirement is the final innings of our life. If our money survives beyond us, we win. If we survive beyond that money, we lose.
To make our Post retirement life rosy, one must stop feeling hurt about changing times, things or situations and develop new mind sets and find ways to be part of the society. Try to be happy and cheerful. Involve in activities that help increasing happiness of retirees across age groups socialising, morning walks, Yoga classes or exercise. Recognise and take advantage of their inherent talents and natural skills. Form communities groups of likeminded people to work on projects of interest to all. Plan recreational /religious trips with your spouse and like minded friends. Get out of the mental state that makes you think age first then action .Keep reading, smiling and learning new things.
Just forty is the old age of youth; sixty the youth of old age.

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