“They’ve been put out to pasture.” Our neighbor was speaking of the three old mares that graze in the field behind our house. He was implying they had “seen better days.”
My husband is retiring this month and we’ll be making a lot of changes, including a move to the place (in a distant state) where these horses come to nibble on the roses along our back fence. As I think of that scene, I pray that, like them, we’ll not be put out to pasture. I like to think the best is yet to come.
The years ahead are supposed to be our “golden years.” As pure gold is not strong, neither do we have the strength of youth. But, like gold, we can be useful and valued and should be shining examples to the younger folks. After all, we’ve racked up lots of years of experience. Right?
“Golden years” may imply a life of leisure after retirement, but studies show this usually lasts about a year. Because retirees like us have freedom to spend the days as they choose, it is important to have a reason, beyond self, for getting out of bed each morning. Focusing on “me” never inspires.
Reminders to myself:
Accept change. There will be many and I may not like some of them at first, but “new” or “different” is okay and besides, I need to save my strength for the bigger battles.
Expect a slower pace. My mind and body may not work as quickly as they used to, but they still function, so be kind to them. No name calling.
Learn or do something new. Putting thoughts on paper for my blog or developing characters and storylines for my books don’t come easy but the challenge makes me determined. So does Sudoku. It’s hard to get a good grasp of technology though. Take deep breaths and keep trying.
Humor goes a long way. Remember that Dad lived 99 years. He brought joy to others and laughed a lot, especially at himself.
Relearn a previous skill. I sit at the piano and realize, with practice, it is possible to relearn all those recital songs I played when I was ten or twelve years old.
Serve others by volunteering in the community. How exciting is this! Helping others is always good for the soul.
Continue a healthy lifestyle with physical activity (walking, bicycling, camping), fresh air, and nutritious food. I like this one!
Socialize by playing games or going on tours. Friends and family can stimulate my mind in discussions of ideas, current events, books.
Spend time with the young. Children like hugs and being read to. Laugh with them, have fun. With teens and young adults, find common ground. Show interest in their activities and gadgets even if I don’t understand their lingo or technology. Share a wise saying often enough so they will remember me for something after I’m gone.
Leave an inspiring legacy. This could be photos, letters, family history, notes in my Bible, stories I write or tell, whatever I want my descendants to know about me and my reason for living.
Embrace life as an adventure. There are no re-runs.
Remember that God loves me. “For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. Psalm 100:5
copyright by d gustafson January 2018