I believe one of the biggest misconceptions about retirement is that it is a time to sit back and do nothing. This is a very dangerous idea. Let me tell you why.
One of the most important things we can do throughout our lives is move. I’m not talking about extreme workouts at the gym — just doing something to get our bodies moving. Get up out of the chair at least once an hour and just stretch or walk around a little. Instead of spending break time glued the phone, go outside and get some fresh air.
The more we sit the more difficult and painful moving can become. But then when we decide we are going to move, we tend to overdo so it becomes more difficult and painful to move making it less likely we will do it again. Thus the cycle begins.
I am always shocked when I hear someone say “I walked enough when I was younger. I don’t want to now. I’m retired.” Of course that is their choice, but it is a choice they will pay for with decreased mobility, increased pain and of course medical bills.
In addition to moving our bodies it is important to keep our minds active. Talk to interesting people, learn something new, start a new career or a hobby, play games, volunteer in your community.
Begin building healthy habits early in life then don’t stop when you retire. Don’t just sit there, do something! It’s never too early and it’s never to late.
“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”
― Henri J.M. Nouwen, Out of Solitude: Three Meditations on the Christian Life
“Reach out and help others. If you have the power to make someone happy, do it. Be a vessel, be the change, be the difference, or be the inspiration. Shine your light as an example. The world needs more of that.”
― Germany Kent
This morning I was sitting out on the courtesy dock, over the water, meditating at sunrise. That doesn’t happen all that often anymore. Even great beauty can begin to be common place when you live with it everyday. It was cloudy today and there wasn’t the spectacular sunrise seen in today’s photo, but as my meditation ended I still sat there amazed at the creation of God, remembering the wonderful images of the eclipse we watched via livestream from NASA. There was great emotion coming from people viewing this event — even scientists.
1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. 3 They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. 4 Yet their voice[b] goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun. 5 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. 6 It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth.
As I watched the eclipse as it crossed the country yesterday I remembered the excitement I felt the first time I saw a human brain. I was studying physiological psychology at the time. Our knowledge of how the brain actually worked was still rather limited back then, but I was amazed at how unimpressive an actual human brain outside of the body can be, knowing that the brain is responsible for everything we do and think, waking as well as sleeping. Even our breath and heartbeat are controlled by the brain. In recent years great strides have been made in our understanding of the brain and how it works making it even more amazing that the wonders of human life are controlled by that hunk of gray matter.
When I was in college there was a fear among some Christians that if Christian young people studied science they would become atheists. There are many scientists around the world who are people of faith — people who still stand amazed at the wonders of nature and by studying them believe in God, Creator, life force, what ever name you use, even more.
So if you stood amazed at the Glory of God yesterday as you watched the eclipse, carry that with you in your heart. It is easy to get caught up in the trials and tribulations of daily life and forget. Let your heart be softened and changed by this encounter. Take this memory out from time and time and let your heart sing….