Staying Active: Keeping Purpose in Our Lives

How do career-minded people define their lives and remain alert and engaged after retiring from a demanding, all-consuming, full-time job?

I have been thinking about that question throughout 2017 following my retirement from a writing and marketing career. I have looked around to see what people in their 60s and 70s are doing, people who have left high-powered jobs and people who have left tedious ones.  I have talked to my baby-boomer peers and discovered that this question is and has been on the minds of most of them at some point. Whether they left jobs because they wanted to, or because they were downsized, it doesn’t seem to matter.

What does a career-type do when the career is over?

I am inspired after reading an article about David Harry Stewart, known as ‘the age disrupter,’ and want to share the article with you.  The article is Disrupting the Concept of Aging 

If you did not read it yet, his message (my interpretation) is that we have to energy ourselves, find a purpose and keep ourselves healthy and active while we are doing it.   Two lines out of Stewart’s comments: “To move is to live,” and “to retire is to die.”

Retirees have to find a meaning in our lives. The first thing to do it not to describe oneself as ‘a retiree!!’

Haven’t we heard the stories about people who get sick and die within a few years of retirement? I’m sure the reasons are far more complicated than what we might find in a google search. Maybe people were already sick. Or, maybe, once they gave up a stressful job, they relaxed  and ate and/or drank too much. How often have  you seen people who have gained tons of weight after they retired?  How many of them are on a handful of pills for heart, high blood pressure and painful joints taken daily? We know that a lack of exercise and over eating can lead to all kinds of diseases.

Look out the window and see the sky.  Think about what you enjoy, what you would like to do to help others.  You can find volunteer work, or a job doing something you’d never thought you’d do. You can find your creative side with art classes. You can learn about plants and dig a garden. Those of us who live in Coastal Delaware because every activity one can think of is documented in the Cape Gazette newspaper.

No matter what, get into a regular exercise program, doing whatever you are physically able to do.

The possibilities are limitless.



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