Remaking Yourself in Your Senior Years…

The condition called midlife crisis is pretty well documented. That is where a person is beginning the second half of his life and realizes that things aren’t going as planned. The response to that sometimes is constructive but often is isn’t. When people throw off their spouses, get a sports car, and look for babes (hunks, I guess for you ladies) to party with that is not a good thing in the vast majority of cases.

I am convinced that there is a similar but often more constructive change that occurs to people as they move into their retirement years. I would not call this condition a crisis, it might more appropriately be called a reformation. That is you have an opportunity to reform who you are and will be for the rest of your life.  This state occurs when we realize that the life decisions we make are no longer in control of outside forces. This realization often comes as a shock to many entering their senior years and sometimes takes quite a while to come to full realization. In some cases the result, like its mid-life crisis cousin, is that the person gets carried away and jumps off the deep in so to say. But I think eventually saner minds usually  rule.

I know from a personal perspective I grappled with this yet unknown freedom for quite some time before I took it by the reigns.  How you approach this possible reformation often times relies on what basic type of person you are. If you are primarily focused on yourself this new found freedom might take the form of endless golfing, fishing, boating or any of many other similar activities. If you are more of an altruist it will take the form of helping others. Often times a healthy balance between the two modes is what is most successful and gratifying.

Whatever you choose depends on what you want to accomplish in your remaining years or maybe what kind of legacy you want to leave. But don’t miss out on redefining who you will be in your senior years. This change in life might just be the most gratifying thing that will ever happen to you.

2 comments

  1. Very important blog here, RJ. Too many see retirement as a time where one becomes unimportant. I have found that it actually is, as you say, an astonishing opportunity to become …… whatever you choose. Freedom is now!

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  2. Thanks for the comments Steve. I am always a little put off by those who constantly say the Boomers are redefining retirement and things like 70 is the new 50. I look at where I am right now and where my father was and except for a few things we are pretty much in the same situation especially health wise. I too expect I will die at about the same age as he did and also his father and probably grandfather. But one thing that maybe has changed at least some is that in Dad’s day you were expected to take your gold watch for your thirty years of loyal service and then to go off and wait to die (ie. waiting4God). Thank heavens, that mindset is now not as prevalent as it was for his generation. But there are probably still many today that are just waiting for God.

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