The Art of the Deal by Bill Storie
As anyone who has already taken the plunge will know, when you retire you have to think about what your new life will look like. You haven't been there before so this is new territory for all of us. The fact that you are getting older of course, doesn't help your deliberations. The fear of the unknown is a phrase we have heard hundreds of times and in fact we may have used it ourselves.
Yet we still have to work with what we have and where we now find ourselves.
The reality is that you have to make a deal with yourself. You have to face the facts and realize that you can't lie to yourself. No matter how much you thought you would still be able to climb mountains or surf in Hawaii, the truth is you probably can’t. Trying to prove your stamina and heroics is a short way to illness.
So, we need to wake up and accept that our bodies are on a downward slope from whatever they once were. We must accept that even though the mind is raring to go, the body will be a lot slower in catching up. Does it matter?
Of course not.
These days we should be more than satisfied with more mundane activities. I’m not sure we need to be playing chess instead of golf of course, but we must recognize our strengths and weaknesses. Yet we can be comfortable that we can use our wisdom and experiences to stimulate our life in retirement.
Olderhood as you know is very keen on learning and continuing education. Keeping the mind busy is a benefit of course, but we should simply love the idea of finding out about new things or places or people. With the Internet as an integral part of life these days we have the world at our fingertips.
We may have limitations on our physical activities but surely, we don’t have the same limitations on mental activities.
Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night to write down a note about something you want to do tomorrow? Of course you have. The reason is simply that while your body is at rest, your mind never stops. The sub-conscience is like the Energizer Bunny – it keeps going and going and going.
And if, like some of us, you don’t sleep all through the night, you’ll probably wake up with a whole list of things to do. The chances are that you’ll have so many things to do when you wake up that you either lie in or you do get up then need a nap in the afternoon because you’ve been doing too much.
You and only you know what your “deal” looks like. Only you can determine how much running around you can manage. You know when you’re tired and ready to stop. You can be silly and keep going to impress other people if you wish, but inside, you know you’re being stupid. Take your naps.
The deal with yourself cannot be false. It must be real and reachable. Only you will know when to slow down. The nice thing about the retirement years is that, by and large, you have your hands on the wheel and you don’t have to comply with the instructions of other people, as you had to do when employed. If you don’t want to do something then you don’t do it. It’s not complicated.
In other words, the deal with yourself is a fine balance between what you can do, what you want to do and what you will be able to do. That balancing act is why we call it the “art”. It’s not scientific or mathematical, but merely a satisfying feeling of achievement. Personal achievement. You go to bed and feel satisfied.
How cool is that?
So, there you go. Don’t do stuff others want you to do unless you feel capable.
And don’t overdo it. This is YOUR life, enjoy it.
By Bill Storie