Ready for the Next Phase of Life?
Retirement is a problem for Boomers. Today life expectancy after retirement at 65 is 75 years which means we have several years left after retirement to spend whichever way we want. Retirement to be pleasurable requires work. My colleagues who are working ask me questions such as:
"What would I do during retirement"?
"How will I pass my time"?
"Will I just rot away?"
I have attempted in this article to describe how I have worked on having a creative and enjoyable retirement.
I enjoy the newly found freedom to spend meaningful, relaxed time to spend with my husband, three children and five grand children. This is a great time to pursue hobbies; some new and some old.
Change in the family structure
Traveling, Hobbies, meaningful relationships
1. Traveling is a great time to think, meditate, and see meaning of life.
2. I have hobbies which are arts, drawing and painting. I had pursued this hobby during my teenage years but as I got involved in my academic and professional pursuits, I had no time. Retirement has offered me freedom to explore how I could get back to learning as well as producing some art works that is inspiring and fulfilling.
3.Our local library is a great resource which offers lectures, classes, demonstration of art work by guest artists. I utilize this resource on a weekly basis.
4. Photography has been the love of my life. I frequently take photos of nature. The sunsets and sun rise are my favorites. They are never alike. I have taken on- line courses to learn more about i-phone photography. My iPhone photos have been wonderful which has inspired me to participate in local and county wide contests. I have won one prize, had one photo was exhibited. One of my photos received a third place in the contest. Most important thing is that I continue to be inspired to do a better job each day.
5. I have been taking writing community classes where about ten participants write, give feedback and develop camaraderie with each other. We are all different in our vocations but we share love for writing and retirement has offered me to express myself.
6. My new physical activity is hiking. I believe in having a well rounded retirement where I spend my mornings in physical activities such as going to the Gym, Yoga and hiking. Hiking also offers me to be with nature and to enjoy the company of people I have encountered through a hiking group. We are all retired and while hiking we have made meaningful relationships.
Fun, active, meaningful
1.Mentoring has been my passion that I developed during my academic career. I have time which I devote towards helping needy women and children. I volunteer my professional experience to help women going through life stresses leading to anxiety, and depression. I consider my self a life coach who intervenes to straighten out their thought processes, and correct their negative thinking leading to confusion.
I mentor a young girl, Sheetal in India. Through financial support, encouragement and mentorship she is able to pursue education.
2. I have taken up charity causes within the US and in India.
These activities are meaningful and I enjoy making a difference
Philanthropic activities are on my list to pursue within and outside the USA.
1. I travel to India once a year and personally visit each of the sites where I donate my time and money for children's education and health needs. I visit an orphanage which houses 30 children. It is gratifying to watch how far an American dollar can make a difference in the lives of these needy children.
2. Another project I have been involved with is to build toilets so that villagers do not have to walk miles to use outdoor open spaces. This project required me to work with the governing bodies of the villages to provide water pipes in each house. Living in America, I had taken for granted that such basic needs were probably available every where in the world.
3. In Westchester county, I visit the homeless shelters, run clothing drive and mentor teenage high school girls interested in such activities. I plan to join a church which is involved in midnight runs to distribute clothing to homeless people in the shelters.
4. I support the carving of Native American Statue "Crazy Horse" in South Dakota. My heart is in educating the native american children and help them preserve their culture. I support their museum as well as the University where Native American youngsters get higher education.
5. I am digitizing a large collection of our family photos and videos taken during last fifty years. This process brings back memories of early years spent with our young children.
7. With a group of friends, my husband and I sing Karaoke on every Friday evening.
This list is growing every day. Creative retirement is pleasurable and meaningful.
So, we have "arrived"!
Retirement is here to bring pleasure and meaning to life. Those who have lived long enough to arrive at this phase of life are fortunate. Let us make the most of it.
© 2018 Nalini Juthani