Has the Retirement Dream Changed? by Bill Storie
I was reading an article earlier today about how the retirement dream for many people seems to have changed. The author stated that the traditional dream of get a job, get married, have a family, buy a house, then stroll towards retirement and the have a 20- year vacation is no longer the dream.
He may be right, but ….
I think that the vast majority of people today still believe that the vacation idea is the way to go and the thing to plan for over the remaining years of your life. Oh sure, there are countless people who think they will climb mountains and run marathons well into the seventies. A friend of mine calls them “Outliers”. He’s right.
Yeah, we all have the notion that we can do whatever we set our mind to and all we need is a little bit of get up and go. The problem is that for many of us our get up and go has got up and gone. Of course, we like to think we can parasail, and after all, because we always wanted to parasail, therefore we believe we can. Nonsense.
People tell us constantly that the word of retirement is a wide box of new ideas and activities. And it is. But, do we seriously take their advice? Do we seriously make an effort to learn new tricks.? Or are we quite content to relax, have an afternoon nap, walk the dog twice a day, cut the grass now and again then find the garden chair?
For those hyper-active among us, they will try to convince you that being laid back is not the thing to do. They will tell you that you have twenty or so years to lay back, so come on, get up and let’s go find the Amazon rain forest. Great ideas. Well intentioned, but not for the most of us.
The fact is that we are really quite comfortable and satisfied with our retirement life, thank you very much. Oh, and let’s use the H word – we’re HAPPY !!!!
If you want to fill your day, every day, with physical activities and breathless endeavors that’s fine, go ahead. A lot of us Oldsters seem to think that we can defy aging by making it look like we are twenty again and don’t have a minute to spare. We’re deluding ourselves of course, but we can’t tell them to slow down, they don’t want to hear. More likely it’s because they want to show their friends and family that they are not old at all – “Look at me, I can swing from this tree to that tree without falling.” Idiots.
By all means, think young but for goodness sakes act your age. You are not impressing anyone.
I always think those super-seniors who put on a fabulous show to their friends, finally go home at night, collapse on the sofa wiped out, exhausted, don’t have dinner because they fall asleep, then wake up at three in the morning wondering what happened. Then the next morning the show must go on and they dash out the door with a bagel stuck between their dentures!!
“Another day of my retirement. Another mountain to conquer.”
If you’re like me, you like the idea of doing what you want to do in retirement and when you want to do it.
I’m not under anyone’s control and don’t have a boss (wife aside!!). If I fancy a nap in the afternoon I don’t have to seek permission or even tell anyone. If I oversleep and then don’t sleep well that night, then so what? It’s MY life in retirement and I am not answerable to anyone.
In other words, the retirement dream is entirely what you want to make it. You are under no obligation to conform to some set of rules and standards. You are certainly under no obligation to please others. Please yourself.
Make your dream retirement your own dream.
I think I’ll go lie down now, bye.
by Bill Storie