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Thursday, January 6, 2022

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Retiring? Here’s Your NEW Job!


So you are anticipating retirement?  Great- I did too for a long time, and I have good news for you: it can be wonderful!  Fulfilling, satisfying, and a long sight better than working a 9-5 job endlessly.  I have been retired now for 6 years, and am 69 years old and happier (and healthier) than I have ever been.

But then, I also know a number of people who are very UNhappy in retirement, sadly.  They are like rudderless ships; with all day and all night at their disposal to do with as they will- they just drift.  The default is always television, and unfortunately before they retired, they set the stage for their retirement life by coming home at night and - watching TV!

This has been exacerbated by the Covid lockdown, which has been a total disaster from the start, and basically accomplished nothing positive, in my opinion.    People have become addicted to streaming services, particularly leftist politically correct shows like those of Netflix.  Again, nothing positive accomplished…

What you need to do, wherever you are in your working life, is to start planning your total life, from start to finish.  Nothing dramatic, just determine those activities that you would like to continue forever, not just now while you are working, but also afterwards, when you are not chained to a job for survival itself!

One thing that is the same for everyone is that your main goal, lifelong, but especially starting on the day that you retire it health and fitness!

So, whether you are 20 now or 60- research, equip yourself for, and begin working on a fitness regimen, both of exercise and nutrition!  In my case, this meant adopting the paleo diet years ago, and setting up a complete basement gym complete with gymnastic rings, barbells and dumbbells, and loads of plates.  Enough for a lifetime!  

A power rack is a wonderful investment, and will last you forever.  You can pick and choose what works best for you over time- the bottom line is that you should work out at home.  A yoga mat in your living room and perfect pushup devices along with an ab wheel can work wonders- especially since, as long as you are working out, watching TV is a wonderful distraction to do only in tandem with active workouts!

And if you’ve been with me for any length of time (I’ve been doing my blog and podcast for well over 11 years now), you will know of all of my recommendations of how and where to work out (at home along with in the woods and on your grass in the yard or park), using heavy hands types of dumbbells and ski poles.  And gymnastic rings are probably the best kept secret of fitness there is, whether hung from the rafters in your basement like me, or strung up outside from a tree or other type of structure, like a basketball hoop support.  They are like a gym you can carry in your hands.

So, let’s say you have a regular workout schedule set up, on a daily or almost daily basis.  Good for you- you are half way to a happy and healthy retirement!  Stay healthy and fit, and you avoid the #1 cause of bad retirements: constant medical visits and treatments.  You can take that time and go out to lunch with your spouse: trust me, after a working life of rushed lunches and dinners, the simple pleasure of going out for lunch after a satisfying workout, and then running a few errands is heavenly!  And be sure to pick up something at the grocery for your supper later, which you will have ample time to prepare and enjoy…

But again, since you should NOT watch television in the evenings, you need to have things scheduled for those hours, and other times in the afternoon and morning when you are unoccupied.  The computer is great, as long as you mostly avoid social media and other nonsense.  Meaningful research can be accomplished using YouTube and other web sites, as long as they are well chosen and teach you things.  New hobbies, tractor and truck maintenance, gardening, stuff like that.

I hope you have moved to a small hobby farm or other rural property; such a place is a lifelong source of both living in nature and in home and yard improvement.  Nothing is more satisfying!  If you haven’t, now might be the time to research and plan for such a place to live.  Just don’t move to a ‘leisure village’ type of place, make sure it is small town and rural!  You want to be a vital citizen, not a pampered pre-nursing home resident.

And speaking of hobbies, I hope you have cultivated a few!  Reading is always my main choice in things, and a good library is vital nearby.   I am also very interested in music, and find myself nowadays drawn to old Christian hymns, along with some modern worship music.  Happily, some are very amenable to being adapted to a rock and roll type of rhythm, and so are satisfying on multiple levels!  

A good small church is another great interest to have in your life.  Not only are you almost automatically a part of a positive, lifelong committed group for good, you also have weekly fellowship and a spiritual connection to both your community, and for charitable focus as well.

I’m not really a fan of mega churches, but some love them.  You can decide for yourself, but the big churches to me are all about “The Show”, and not about an intimate connection with both God and the other worshippers.

And so there you have it!  Of course, along with what I’ve listed, you also should continue to have a close and nurturing relationship with your family, and children and grandchildren.  Also, you should be a good neighbor and friend with those in your community, neighbors and old friends as well.  

Of course, all of this takes constant effort, and if you are healthy, fit, and happy, it will all go along with your life seamlessly, enhancing every part of it in retirement, even moreso than in your rushed, all-too-busy working years.

Now, you will have a wonderful retirement- the BEST years of your LIFE!