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Make Retirement a Fun Place to Be!

by Irwin Lengel
(Lakeland)

I got to thinking last night as we were preparing to call it quits for the evening, what piece of information could I share with those of you that have either retired or are contemplating retirement as regards what you can do in retirement to keep yourself busy.

Earlier in the evening I had begun writing an article about how retirement is what you make it and how you could be like us, meaning that you could take up line dancing or travel or become active in your community. But then it came to me that I do have some success stories or at least stories I can share that might just give one or two of you an idea about how to go about continuing to be productive in your retirement lives without just sitting and watching the grass grow – blade by blade, and enjoy it at the same time.

Our son and his wife, while only in their fifties, are looking ahead as to what it is they want to do in their retirement years. He loves to work with wood and is very handy around a workshop. He does build birdhouses and other unique items made from wood. She loves to purchase unique and hard to come by articles others might need for whatever purpose. So, several years ago they decided to open up their own little store on E-bay. This is a part-time business that they hope to build into a business that will supplement their retirement income plus provide them with many hours of fun once they no longer have the 9-5 routine of a daily job. Check it out at the following website - L and J's Attic Ebay Store

Another thought about what to do in retirement has to do with those of you that may love animals. Several years ago my kid sister was down-sized out of her job and in order to make ends meet until her next job, she decided to pursue something that she loved doing. Her thought process was one all of us strive for – if I have to get up and go to work every day, I should make it a job that I love doing. After all, for those of us that have been there and done that, we recognize that when working we spend more time at work, in many instances, than we do at home. So why not make the experience a fun one. Someone once said – if you love your job you will love your life. So she set up a pet care business. She would arrange to dog or cat sit or take the animal for a walk when the owner wasn’t available. Check out the following website - Fern's Pet Care.

Perhaps you are an insurance professional. Retiring from insurance does not mean your life as it relates to insurance is over. If you love the job you had and recognize that others could learn from your experiences, perhaps you could teach or write about insurance. I make it a point to stay current on insurance affairs. I do this by subscribing to various online insurance periodicals and also by teaching insurance courses to other professionals. The courses I teach enable other professionals to attain the highest professional designation possible within the Property and Casualty world of insurance, the coveted CPCU designation. Check out CPCU.org.

Or for those of you that like to write (another of my retirement hobbies) perhaps you may have a short story or two you now have the time to write about. If so, check out the following website - The Writers Drawer.

The above suggestions are merely a few of the possibilities one can utilize to keep active during our retirement years. All you have to do is keep an open mind and pursue that which excites you and that which you feel you will have the most fun doing. Make sure it is something that you truly cannot wait to get to each and every day. Depending on the type activity you choose, hopefully it will keep you active both physically and mentally thus eliminating the possibility of thinking about that which was.

Remember, today is the first day of the rest of your life – look forward to it and smile – it can only be that which you make it and whatever that may be, has to beat the alternative!

Until next time!

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THE THREE BENCHES IN THE PARK ....
by: Retd. Prof. Mr. Durgesh Kumar Srivastava, New Delhi, India.

The park has been there since I built my house in this small residential block nearly forty years ago. I have been going there almost every day as a young man, an adult building up his family and career, as a middle aged man taking my sons for playing, hosting their wedding functions in a corner reserved for this purpose, taking my three grandsons to the park for playing, and now going to the park thrice a day as a retired man.

I find the park a complete facility for retired people to pass their time. Activities start in the park before dawn and continue throughout the day and end only when the gates are locked abound 10 pm. people gather between 5 and 8 am for walks, exercise, Yoga and laughter sessions.

Many people arrive around 8 am to feed the birds, ants and squirrels. Some people come with newspapers to sit under the morning sun and read the papers. It is usual to borrow and lend newspapers and magazines.

Our group of fellow retirees comes at 10 am for a session of gossip. The range of topics is very wide - politics, economy, religion, family problems, music, jokes, experiences .... If the topic being talked about is not of my interest, I would politely get up and take a walk around the park. By the time I came back, the topic would have been changed.

I have made many new friends in the park. Last evening, many of us attended the wedding of one of the fellow retirees from this group. We felt as if we were family members. My grandson (9+) went with me. He quickly made friends with the 7 year old grandson of my friend there. The two may continue their mutual friendship long after their grandfathers have gone from this world.

We have put three park benches in a 'U' shape. Other people respect our first right to use these benches. Usually, when we arrive in the park for our evening gossip session, some ladies are sitting on these three benches. They at once vacate these and go for their walk. Thus an unwritten relationship of mutual respect has been formed between the ladies and our group. The presence of senior citizens in the park makes sure that rowdy people keep away from the park. There is peace and security for all.

Once in a while, there is a death among the senior citizens. All members of the group go together to express their moral support to the bereaved family. Recently, when a fellow retiree needed blood donation, we all sent our children to the hospital for blood donation. Birth Days and Wedding Anniversaries are remembered and jointly celebrated with JALEBIs (a syrupy Indian sweet dish) and SAMOSAs (a salted patty of wheat flour and spicy boiled potatoes).

The three benches in the park have become a second home for us. These three benches make us feel that we belong here.

DKS, 31 January, 2013

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