Guest Post Written by Dave Bernard
My neighbor down the street recently joined the ranks of the retired. He is one of the 10,000 turning 65 each day as baby boomers begin to move from the ranks of the working into retired life. For the first six months, he kept busy catching up on all of those need-to-be-done items that filled his various lists, hard at it all day long and knowing he would have more to do the next day. Then after six months he ran out of gas. The lists were done, he was caught up on his reading, and he could only travel so much, now what? Tragically, he ends up staying in bed until 10-11:00 each morning and drudges through the day feeling little excitement or fulfillment by the time the sun goes
down. Not much of a satisfying retirement life.
Due to modern medical advances we can hope to live 20 to 30 years of retirement life. But without something worthwhile to fill our days, the dream of our Golden Years could become a nightmare.
While we worked, we were busy with the job and its demands – we did not have to plan activities to fill our time but instead hoped there was enough time to get it all done. Our calendars were packed with meetings and deadlines orchestrated by departments and teams and supervisors. Once retired, we become the keepers of our calendars and filling them each day can be daunting at best.
Think back to when you were trapped in a job that seemed to sap you of your strength and sometimes even your will to live. Did you ever take a breather and wish you could be doing something else? Maybe you contemplated another career path but could not explore it because of bills and commitments. Or perhaps writing a book was a passion that you felt but could not pursue. Volunteering, learning a language, practicing a musical instrument – the list grows and the passion lives.
Retirement without a passion for something worthwhile is a losing proposition. Like my neighbor, busy work quickly winds down and in the long run is not very satisfying. Pursuing a passion in retirement is a requirement for your sanity and longevity!
- Something to get you out of bed each morning with a desire to get on with living
- A worthwhile endeavor that adds value and meaning to your life
- Active involvement of your brain to keep you sharp
- A feeling of accomplishment as you progress down the path of your passion
- A reason for being
Retirement is our time to finally do what we want to do when we want to do it. But we need something worthwhile to be doing. And planning ahead is critical. Starting our search for a passion after we retire is too late. Better to think and cogitate, to experiment and fine tune possible pursuits of passion before we retire. So on the day that we finally say good bye to the working world, we cannot wait to get started with our
retired life. The passion is burning and there is no one to stoke the fire but us! Happy retirement.
Dave Bernard is the author of the blog LoveBeingRetired.com where he examines the
aspects of retirement living other than just financial.