The Considered Life

WHAT RETIREMENT SHOULD BE ABOUT

Life is about doing things. We are all so very busy. I remember as a single mother trying to get my two kids to two different sports practices at the same time — the car pools and the snacks in the car.

And work/family/home balance always loomed over me. Was I doing enough at work? Was I showing up enough for the kids? Was the house neglected, dinner at the table? Come on!

Ok, everyone knows the drill. I’m an organized person and on some level I relished trying to keep all the balls in the air. Indeed, it is a badge of honor to be busy in today’s society.

ergo – if you aren’t busy do you have any worth? If you aren’t solving problems in the workplace and at home are you contributing? If you aren’t contributing, what are you doing?

Blogs regularly admonish how to keep busy in retirement. How to find volunteer jobs. I think we all may be missing something.

where I believe that the human spirit needs goals and hope for the future, I do not believe that work and busy work should be the answer – especially in retirement.

SO maybe this is Mindfulness for the retiree. The considered and reflected life. Perhaps there is no Jesus to meet you at the Pearly Gates and say “Well done thou good and faithful servant.”, but can one validate oneself?

Thinking is a greatly underrated skill in our society. Just thinking Not brainstorming, not working on a team project, not devising a plan. Just thinking. And in our 20s and 30s and 40s and even 50s we had so little time for thinking. It was all about moving, going, getting and spending.

Now I have time to think. To muse. To read something and think about it.

If I could find anyone interested, I now have time to talk about ideas and what life means and has meant to me. I don’t have to concentrate on logistics all the time.

And our technology – perhaps contrary to public opinion – can assist in this meaningful pursuit of reflection. At one’s fingertips are all the great thoughts by all the great thinkers thru time.
USE MR. GOOGLE for more than shopping. USE FACEBOOK to really connect with old friends instead of looking at stupid videos and sharing pithy but meaningless catch phrases.

Here are some of the questions I believe we should consider in our golden years.

We read to help us understand the human condition and, by extension ourselves.
We go to movies, plays, concerts, museums to help us understand the human condition, ourselves and the nature of art, creativity and expression.

We make things – create art, crafts, gardens, food to help us learn about ourselves and the world around us.

In our Golden Years we should have more time to explore these things. To take time to read and re-read to discuss and understand.

Don’t rush thru life doing what you have to. Or at least when you no longer have to rush to make a living – don’t just think in terms of work. Think about enlightenment.

Social media may be antithetical to help us know each other better. People seem very careful to not actually talk about anything that is important. Oh sure you have a few right or left wing people who post all sorts of political information that let you know what side of the aisle they are on. and pics of vacations and family do give a bit of information about what people are doing.

but rarely do people talk about themselves. I would love to know what my old high school friends have really been doing. I would like to share seminal experiences. Social media is probably not the place- SUPERFICIAL TO A FAULT1

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