Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas
Make the rest of your life the best of your life. Unknown
We are told we are never too old to start something new. I found a book, “You Can Draw in 30 Days by Mark Kistler at Indigo a while ago. I started doing the exercises in the book and it has taken me more than thirty days to get through it. The first lesson is the sphere. The lessons build on each other and the last three lessons are drawing a face, the human eye, and hands.
I’m watching my two-month-old grandson as he lies on his stomach. His movements are still ineffective at moving him very far, but we can no longer leave him somewhere like a bed and think he will stay where he is put. It’s been so many years since I’ve watched a baby learn and develop on a daily basis. It is fascinating to look at what holds his attention, to see his movements change in little ways that will lead to big changes like crawling and then walking. His babbling will turn into speech.
Watching him makes me wonder if I am curious enough, and learning enough. I have friends that are learning new languages. Some people are pushing themselves physically and mentally, and ask big questions about life. When do we quit pushing ourselves to learn and do more? Do we lose our curiosity about how things work, do we lose our creativity or can we continue to develop?
The answer is probably different for each of us. At a bridal shower on Saturday my daughter and I sat at a table with another mother and daughter, a mother whose daughter is getting married in two weeks, and a woman who never became a mother. We talked about children getting married, traveling, and retiring. The consensus by everyone is that upon retirement one must replace work with something. Drinks on the beach will only be fun for a couple of days and then we’ll be looking at each other, “What do you want to do?”
Your best retirement plan for retiring happy and prosperous – don’t be a burden on others. Ernie Zelinski
There are big questions looming as retirement is the next step for ourselves, friends, and family. My two quilting sisters are busier than ever with their quilting, shops, and retreats. They are a model for what to do after sixty-five. Find something you love, pour your heart and soul into it, and help others find their passion. At our table, on Saturday one of the lady’s husbands has taken up woodworking. He has solved the challenge of what to do with all the time that used to be taken up with gainful employment. The challenge each one of us will face is how to fill the hours that used to be filled.
We have many young people who are working very hard to attain financial independence and retiring early (FIRE). It is a great goal but many of them don’t really want retirement so much as they want to be able to do what they want to do without considering how much it will pay. I think it is a worthy goal to figure out how to live life on our terms, still contributing to society, and challenging ourselves to grow and develop. We’ll see how the movement unfolds in the years to come.
Those of us who are reaching retirement age can look at the FIRE movement for inspiration on how to make this next leg of our journey the best it can be.
As in all successful ventures, the foundation of a good retirement is planning. Earl Nightingale
Don’t simply retire from something: have something to retire to. Harry Emmerson
Rules for happiness: something to do, someone to love, something to hope for. Emmanuel Kant
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