" The Golden Years" remember that term, sure you do because you still hear it used today by unsuspecting people that have no idea that these so called Golden Years just do not appear unless you create them yourself which calls for you to become proactive in creating that lifestyle to begin with.
Of course the golden years may mean different things to different people. Its also called Retirement which I cringe every time I hear it because I relate personally retirement to putting yourself out to pasture to die a slow miserable death. Retiring back years ago was the hip thing to do wasn't it. People left their jobs and spent the rest of their days sitting around, watching the news at noon , watching Jeopardy, maybe a golf game or two a week and, the hardest decision that they made all day was what they were going to prepare for dinner.
Things have changed now in the 21st century. Though you still have the crowd that is looking forward to retiring and sitting around the pool all day and talking about their dogs and grandchildren which is fine if that is what you call living life to the fullest , for others that is nothing but a slow drive to the graveyard.
Today, many more of us prefer to stay active in work that we love to begin with and, to stay busy and moving. Others are forced to work due to the changing dynamics that started in the 1980s with the drop in pension plans or, the financial butt kicking we took in 2008. Finances for many is always an issue isn't it? Matter of fact its damn important!
Also staying active and engaged in work you love keeps you feeling more vibrant and provides you with more energy and a feeling of optimal self worth.
Sure we all will face death sooner or later but, for those of us that look at retirement like myself for a new chance to reinvent myself into another career, we want to postpone the undertaker as long as we can and, as long as we have our minds and, can live a high quality of life physically.
What is the secret to living through those Golden Years? If you ask ten people you may get ten different answers however, one thing we know for sure, it is that those years are what you personally make of it, in other words, it starts between your ears, your mental make up and emotional resiliency will determine your destiny after retirement. Only you know the true answer, I cannot tell you what the key is, the answer lies within your soul and spirit.
But you have to be willing to accept change in fact welcome it. You have to be willing to expand your thinking and get out of that old worn out negative trap of what is called " stinking thinking" that most of us have accumulated over the years form associating in negative relationships and years of polluted TV news and drama.
You are the answer, how you think and the decisions you make today will determine how golden those years become. The decisions like making a concerted effort to work on your health through a disciplined program of strength training, eating good nutritious high protein, low fat foods, and stretching is a great place to start.
Its about making decisions to improve your mind by reading topics that help you discover the true potential that you have as a human being, rather then wasting your time today watching negative TV and reality shows that have zero educational value. Continually working to educate yourself and working on a personal development program is paramount to living a high quality of life as we age.
However not all TV is bad, I love to sit down and watch a good baseball game for instance on a Sunday afternoon, nothing wrong in relaxing now and then is there?
Sure we all need to stay current on world events but getting bombarded by the 24/7 news cycle is defeating you mentally, and if you become defeated mentally, you become defeated physically as well.
The top three things that I believe will springboard most older adults into a higher quality of life is a consistent daily plan of reading non-fiction books on mental growth and development, meditation and, a consistent strength training program to assist in strengthening both mind and body.
If you are in are in within five years of retirement age like I am for instance, to keep life meaningful, exciting and vibrant, you want to start making plans on what you are going to do with your life rather then play golf seven days a week or, sitting out at the community pool all day while getting yourself up to date with all the community gossip.
Everyone is free to choose to live their life the way they want, I get that. I work with seniors who have retired for instance that I see in home health physical therapy, and I see more cases of depression than is necessary in my opinion. I think some of these troubles are connected to not having any reason to get out of bed in the morning, no personal or professional goals to work on, no hobbies to pursue, in other words they rushed to retirement with no plan. Now what? Is this all there is?
Its no secret now that staying active both mentally and physically and in touch with society by working at something that brings you joy, you have a passion for and, a making little extra cash to by the way as a whole is much healthier than staying holed up inside somewhere and, the only social contact you have is a multitude of doctor visits , who by the way have no problem parting you from your retirement funds to begin with.
Plan ahead, get started on a serious strength training, flexibility program and nutritional program that is going to build you a strong body and save you both time and money down the road and, begin working on your mental development program to grow and prepare yourself for your new life after retirement.
Now is the time to do some soul searching and set some goals for how you will live and conduct your life after retirement from your current career. Those " golden years" believe it or not It will be here before you know it.
Richard Haynes PTA, CPT
Total Joint Fitness LLC