Retiring with a Joyful Life
We have arrived
Everyone has a different idea about retirement and what they want from this time of life. The choices you make can be changed on a moment's notice. Make plans and discover your dreams and dig in to living this time in your life. The years go faster and faster as we age, and sometimes I have to catch my breath to actually believe how old I am. (never mind exact statistics). Growing old gracefully is something I do not wish to do. I want to have fun, feel good and look the best I can. I am going to share some of my--not really secrets--on what I have learned during the retirement years.
Produce is the best thing you can eat
Food: The Essence of Life
Let talk about food. Actually I would rather eat than talk about it, but here goes. We have to face an important fact as we age--we need to consume less food to survive with good health. Not only does consuming less calories keep off unwanted pounds, but it is beneficial for the general health of our bodies. Many of us have to cut the following out of our diets-- greasy, spicy and sugar-laden foods--unless we want to pop antacids daily. We may have to watch the sweets to keep our blood sugar regulated and eliminate fatty and greasy foods to watch the cholesterol intake. The bottom line here is that if you eat wisely, you will feel better, avoid extra doctor visits and stay in better shape.
Eating with health in mind is a commitment--one to follow on a daily basis. I do not believe in fad diets, vegetarianism or veganism, but I do believe in limiting certain foods. I am not against being a vegetarian or vegan, because many people swear by it as a disease prevention measure. I think it is better to follow these different ways of eating than loading up with processed foods. One thing to note: if you eat food that is not prepared from other ingredients you are way ahead of the game. Eating food in its pure form with no additions is a good rule to follow most of the time. However, it is smart to limit red meat, but a good steak on rare occasions may be one of your favorite treats. It is my very favorite food.
Going organic is a healthy way to eat, but is not always practical. I purchase organic produce when it is well priced and convenient. If you are lucky enough to live where there is a farmer's market get your produce there. You know the produce will be fresh and that is even more important than being organic. Truly fresh produce will ensure getting higher vitamin and mineral content than produce in a grocery store that has been sitting for several days.
Sometimes my fridge looks like a produce market. We eat at least 10 servings of fruit and vegetables a day. And so far, knock on wood, I wake up feeling great and to me that is a blessing of which I am grateful for everyday. This alone will help the retirement years be fun and rewarding.
Exercise at Least 4 Times a Week
Try to exercise moderately most days of the week. Find a sport that you love or take a daily walk. Make sure you enjoy your chosen activity and be faithful to it. Using light free weights and stretching are both excellent for body strength and flexibility.
- You will have strong bones and walk briskly.
- You will burn calories.
- You will help your brain health.
- You will have fun (if you choose something fun to do).
- You will improve your mood.
Emotions, Tolerance and Other Feelings
I hate to admit it but I have become more sensitive as I grow older. I work at not over-reacting and feeling slighted, but it rears its ugly head every once in a while. I have accepted this shortcoming as with many other shortcomings that I have. I have learned not to be as judgmental about people as I used to be, after all people have their problems and issues of what I no little about. When people are rude or withdrawn we don't know what is going on in their lives to cause this.
I rarely have road rage--well maybe once in a while when someone just totally cuts me off and there was a possibility of an accident. I pick my battles with my husband and ignore things that are not important-- like leaving clothes around, not doing what I have asked him to do and spending money without telling me. The last one is not overlooked so I have to go out spend equal money on myself. I am just kidding.
Enthusiasm is the key to happy years. Find joy in your life daily. No matter how grim things are there is always something positive to focus and enjoy. Be grateful for all the things you have. We are in the last chapter of the book of life, and you don't want to miss a day. Write your blessings down in a small journal to reinforce in your mind your joy in life.
We All Need Friends
Friendships Are Different
Friendships change as we age. Making friends is easy when you are young. You meet friends through your kids, at work or in the neighborhood. As people age they often change and are not as open to making new friends. Acquiring new pals is not always an easy process and I have learned this personally. We have moved around a lot and have started and stopped many friendships. When coming to a new place you have to realize that people are settled in with friends they spend time with and often have set activities they do together. You have to work your way in very slowly
It is challenging to find people with like interests and similar goals, and it takes time and patience. I am a very high energy person and others often are not. Staying in shape is important to me and others often do not care. You see where I am going with this. I have mellowed a bit on expectations and enjoy people for who they are. I am much happier with this attitude.
What About Time
Sometimes I don't know what I did all day, but it took all day to do it. When I was working or had my own business 15 minutes was like two hours. I took advantage of every minute I available, and accomplished an enormous amount of things.
Today I find myself feeling anxious if I have more than three necessary things to do for the day. Mentally things take longer to do, but not in the physical sense. Does that make sense? There is just a different attitude entirely about time during the day. Also time seems to fly by much faster than it used to, as one day blurs into the next--however I am having fun and enjoying life.
Money can be a difficult topic in today's landscape. Prices of our daily necessities go up on a daily basis, and this is a major challenge on a fixed-income. There are not a lot of opportunities to regain lost money as we age and looking at long term investments may not make sense. For example we thought of buying some property that was fairly well priced, and will go up in value in several years. Meanwhile we need the income now and looking that far into the future doesn't seem like a sound idea. Many of us took a beating in the stock market, falling house prices and other investments which has had a detrimental effect on the pocketbook. We have been forced to cut back on many things in our life. We have to plan for special purchases and sometimes just have to forego the expense. Some of us no longer have to freedom to just spend on all the things we want. Making the decision on what we want and what we need is not always easy to do after having more monetary freedom.
Brain Health Keeps You Young
Almost no one worried about their memory or cognition when they were young? As we age these things becomes a reality especially with all the information we are bombarded with daily. If we occasionally forget something we could go into panic mode. There are so many labels for different conditions in the medical world to keep us on high alert. There are some things you can do to help keep your brain healthy:
- Eat healthy food--avoid transfats
- Keep your mind sharp with puzzles, learning new things and using your brain.
- Exercise daily
- Meditation and other natural stress relievers
We take a few supplements that seem helpful in maintaining brain health, which are VInpocetine, Acetyl-Carnitine, Turmeric and Astaxanthin. And we all are a little forgetful from time to time, so don't worry. Being alert and enjoying a good memory makes the retirement years lots more fun.
Age with Grace
- Weight Training for Seniors-Free Weights
Stay in shape with free weights at any age. Start out slow and increase your weights and watch the improvement in strength and energy. Weight training for strength is worth it.
- How to Live Aboard a Sailboat
Living on a sailboat for short periods of time is wonderful. You have to make a few adjustments but it is worth it.
- Part 2-Eleven Ideas to Enjoy Life and Good Health as You Age
There are many simple ways to stay healthy, fit and enjoy life as you age. Eat well, exercise and just have fun.