“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and enjoy the dance.” — Alan Watts
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.
Last year Bob and I left a big, violent city and moved to a beautiful place in rural Oklahoma on the shores of Grand Lake ‘o the Cherokee. So, how are things a year later? Any regrets? Please excuse me while a recover from the giggles …. NO!
This is not something we could have even imagined just a few months before we made the move. We had something else planned. In life doesn’t it seem that we always have something else planned? Bob had planned to work at least five more years. We had planned to travel when he retired. We had not planned on Bob losing his job and there not being another one due to obvious health issues.
So what did we do? We started making other plans — all of which gloriously failed. To make a long story short, we ended up where we were meant to be. One of our neighbors told us “The world puts us out to pasture and we end up here so God can bless us.”
Weren’t we frightened during the whole ordeal? You betcha! When Bob came home and told me he had lost his job I wondered how we would survive. Bob was upset and frightened by his sudden vision loss. We knew we needed to get out of the city, but where would we go and how?
Fortunately Spirit kept me calm. This is not something I am good at on my own (major understatement — stop laughing Bob). We began a daily prayer and meditation practice, we studied, and we trusted God — most of the time. Of course we had our moments, but when we put our trust in God and made the move having no idea what was ahead of us, we found ourselves in a beautiful place, in our own home and enjoying life.
Thank You God!
“I will dance a little.
I will move with the wind.
I will give my body to my love and celebrate
that we have substance beyond the idea of ourselves.
We can move. We can touch. This is my physical exclamation point.
This is how I can awaken my mind to the possibilities in the day.”
– Mary Anne Radmacher