Me & Spotty Dog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watching some neighbors vegetate recently I realized that, dreams don’t retire.

Our dog, Spotty, started barking out the bedroom window. I knelt down to spend a quality minute praising my pup for his protective skills. Together we watched a new arrival to the RV park setting up their patio. A minute later they plopped down into their lawn chairs under the canopy. While Spotty and I gazed out the window I had a revelation. Suddenly I had a vision of all the people I’d seen sitting in chairs under canopies, day after day. Hence, this blog post was born.

Previously, I hadn’t given much thought to retiring into a chair. I’ve heard of people doing that, I just hadn’t analyzed the practice as a retirement plan; until today. Then I realized, dreams don’t retire!

Watching Squirrels

My oldest brother is about to retire. I asked him what he planned to do with the rest of his forever. He said, “Sit on the porch and watch the squirrels, I guess.”

 

I’ve watched my share of squirrels. Once I saw one trying to pull my bird feeder up a tree. They are funny, diligent little furballs. Maybe part of their purpose is to offer us an entertaining break. But, considering his recent heart attack, I requested a Plan B.

Another friend of mine refuses to retire because her husband is already retired. Ergo, he’s home, all the time. Once she came home and asked him if he had done anything that day. He said he had. In the morning he was on the couch and after lunch he moved to the recliner.

 

Taking a Break

Life is hard and we all need an occasional break. The couple we watched sitting on the patio may not even be retired. This may be their big weekend away to do nothing; watch squirrels. Hopefully, it’s not their long-term retirement plan.

 

 

So many people have worked their asses off all their lives at jobs they didn’t love. They often feel they have nothing left to give; or they’ve given enough. Many just want more time for golf, fishing, sightseeing, or sitting in a chair. But I do not understand sitting there forever; in a chair, a golf cart, or anywhere else.

Becoming a Senior Citizen

Greece, India, Korea, and China are among the few countries that honor their elders. Seniors are revered as great resources of knowledge and wisdom. However, in the US, only the Native Americans seem to practice this school of thought. Many treat the elderly like a time consuming nuisance; a drain on society.

Let me state here that Social Security is not an entitlement (a gift from the government) or a drain. It is actually a monthly withdrawal from your personal, lifelong savings account.

The point is, seniors buy into the mindset that retirement is an end. Consequently, they become less productive or completely stagnant. Moreover, we are an unhealthy, overweight society, which only makes the aging process more complicated. Sitting down to watch the squirrels for a year or two can only add to the lack of health and productivity. It’s no wonder dementia is so rampant. The brain is a muscle that must be continually exercised; along with the rest of the body.

Aging, Not Molding

Getting through this life we learn from our successes and grow from our mistakes. Surviving until old age involves so many struggles, failures, and triumphs. Hence, with age comes maturity, knowledge, and hopefully wisdom.

Maturity: reaching an advanced stage of mental and/or emotional development; characteristic of adulthood.

A New Beginning

I once heard a preacher say that passing a cemetery always made him sad. Not because of the deaths, but because of the failures. Books that were never written. Music never played. Businesses never started. In other words, dreams never realized.

I believe that every creature on this planet was put here for a purpose. Each has something unique to offer that no other living being can provide. This is especially true of human beings with life experience. It makes me wonder about those who sit down. Personally, I can’t imagine doing nothing all day. In other words, checking out while still alive is not an option, because:

  • Your job does not define your life.
  • Humans can be productive at any age.
  • Seniors have so much to offer.
  • Dreams, like squirrels, don’t retire.

In reality, retiring from “having” to work is an opportunity for a new beginning. Some of you reading this are saying, “It’s too late.” I strongly disagree. Dreams not only don’t retire, they have no expiration date. Most dreams go unfulfilled because people give up. 

What’s your dream?

In February I turned 58. By the grace of God, I am healthy and so is my husband, also 58. We are planning for retirement in a few years. When we’re not playing, he is learning video editing. It’s something he’s always wanted to do. Soon we’ll invest in a better movie camera and start working on a business plan for retirement. I plan to continue my graphic design and writing, because I love it.

Additionally, I’m going to get my real estate license in a few months. We plan to invest in rentals and want to flip a house or two when we retire. A real estate license will give us a professional edge.

You’re still breathing. Ergo, you have something left to do. Others are saying, “I’m on a fixed income.” So, unfix it. Make some money. Make so much that, if they cut your Social Security, it won’t matter!

Life is an Adventure that begins with just One Step out of your Comfort Zone.

Take a Step

The most life-changing speech I’ve ever heard was by Art Linkletter. At 95 he had just written a thought-provoking book. He had also just accepted a high-ranking position with a solar company outside of Las Vegas. He refused to retire and knew he had a great deal left to give.

RV Lifestylers Comfort Zone Canvas ToteThere are a myriad of opportunities for each of us at any age. We just have to take action. Extroverts can teach or speak to groups, sharing years of knowledge and skill. Introverts can write books. The internet makes all of this even more accessible. YouTube and self-publishing sites like Kindle offer free and affordable outlets to share what we know. Some options can produce income for those on that “fixed” income.

If you’re already retired, you may have less finances to work with, but you have more time. Using that time wisely could include writing a book, starting a YouTube channel, or producing a business plan. With a well written plan and crowd funding options like Kickstarter and GoFundMe anything is possible.

In conclusion, get up and do something! The free time you have is a great blessing. RV enthusiasts are already set up to hit the road with newfound freedom. If you don’t have a camper of your own yet, check out RV Rental Scout to get yourself an affordable rental and test out the RV Lifestyle.

Loneliness is a choice when you have something to share but choose not to. It’s not too late but it will be eventually.

Enjoy the Journey! It’s not over yet.

FYI: For those of us that are Christians, retiring from work is not even Biblical!

Canvas Bag and other “One Step Out Products” are available at my TeeSpring store.

How to Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life

I was so bummed when I heard that Art Linkletter had died. At 95-years-young he had changed my perspective and the rest of my life. At least when I saw him speak, I was able to tell him. I also got him to sign his book and I’ve included a link here. If you’re retired, or close to it, How to Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life, is a must read.
Read it today!

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