by Irwin Lengel

As retirees we have quite a bit of experience to share with those much younger (some not so much younger) than us.

Experience in the form of things we may have done that we thought was right at the time but now having years to see how the overall picture turned out, we find that we may have handled the situation a different way.

When one sits down and thinks about it, my educated guess is that I am sure we could come up with a list of items that might prove to be quite useful and perhaps some not so useful. Fact of the matter is though that there might be a handful of them that might just reach the top of your list and could possibly be of some worth to others going through some of the same trials and tribulations we once muddled through.

Let me point out what I am talking about here. Do you remember when you would go to work every day? What type person did you seek out and desire to be around whenever possible? The person who, in all probability, smiled a lot!

Why? Because, speaking from my own experiences, I tend to gravitate towards those that I perceive to be happy and pleasant and gravitate away from people with negative attitudes.

I had this one boss that when I would get to my worksite, the first thing I would do is pass by his secretary’s desk and ask what type of a mood he was in. If she said a “good” mood, then I would not be concerned when he would call me into his office for whatever task he was going to assign me. But, if she said a “bad” mood, I would do my best to stay out of his way the entire day.

And, if by chance, I did get called into his office on those “off” days, I had already been forewarned about the mood he was in and so I would tread lightly so to speak when responding to him.

By surrounding yourself with people that are happy and pleasant, we tend to give off the same air of contentment thus creating better relationships with people in general and such action also provides us with a strong social reputation. So, one word of advice would be to smile a lot and be nice to others as well.

As some of you may already know, I am the type person that enjoys routine things. A daily routine to me helps make my day. Not only does a daily routine help me feel good, starting out on schedule makes the balance of the day more productive because it means I am using my time wisely.

Following a routine allows me to make sure that I do not veer off course in a haphazardly direction ending up at the end of the day wondering where the day went and why I did not accomplish all I had hoped to.

So, another piece of advice would be to utilize a daily routine. Doing so (and this can be done in retirement as well) tends to allow a person to accomplish that which they want to and be happy at the same time not stressed out wondering if and when they were going to get all that had to be done accomplished.

So, another piece of advice would be suggesting that others follow a routine as it tends to allow a person to accomplish that which they want to and be happy at the same time. In this manner they would not be stressed out wondering when they were going to get all that had to be done accomplished. A routine maps out one’s plan of attack to accomplish that which they hope to do over a given period of time.

Now that we are retired, we should be able to do just what we want to do. Right – right! But, what is it that you want to do? S

it down and think about all you might have wanted to do while working but could not schedule it into your daily work plan. Then also strategize about what it is that might be making you think you cannot do it right now.

Remember, it is your life and now that you have time (remember as retirees we now have 24/7) to do that which you couldn’t work into your schedule when working. Unless a person is in a situation where their time is controlled by things out of his/her control (caretaker of a sick spouse, or grandchildren to raise, etc.), now is the time to fulfill those dreams.

We are not getting any younger. Sit down and think about what makes you happy. If writing is your passion, write daily. If reading is your passion, make it a point to read every day. Find out what you like to do and pursue it.

The piece of advice I would suggest in this instance would be to suggest to others that they should take time out of their busy lives now to find that one thing that they are passionate about and begin working it into their daily lives. In doing so, when they retire, they will not find themselves wondering what to do with that void of time that our workday took up. They will have found something that they are passionate about and that makes them say to themselves at the end of each day, “Hey, I cannot wait to get up tomorrow and get back to this!”

Another piece of advice would be to remind others that we have choices. No matter what we choose to do, will, quite possibly, come with a lot of unknowns or factors. Is what we want to do too expensive, too time-consuming, will I be able to master it?

Fact of the matter is that no matter what we choose, we will face questions such as these. But hey, no one said life would be easy – but life can be as fun as we make it. So, you are going to have to choose. How do you go about it? Well, we have all been around the block once or twice I am sure. Ever hear of good research and note-taking?

This is where one has to do a little bit of work to research that which you think you want to do. What all is involved, how long will it take, how much will it cost, and questions like that. Do you have the time, money, and fortitude to pursue your new passion?

Only you can answer these questions. Perhaps some of you reading this posting have already done this. If so, I am sure you can remember what your thought process was, what obstacles you may have had to overcome and so forth and so on. Pass this information on to those younger than you facing the same questions.

Just because we struggled does not mean that they have to and besides, it may encourage them to pass their thoughts on to those that will come behind them. After all, isn’t that what we elders are supposed to do?

Another piece of advice we could share with those coming behind us would be this – look to those individuals that we have been associated with all our lives. Chances are we will find that while we have not mimicked exactly what they have done with their lives, we tend to follow by example. If you had a co-worker that always had a nice word to say about everyone he or she came in contact with, chances are you tried to follow that same example. I remember my mother once saying to me – if you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything at all. This is truly a small world. If we would all try to be happy and content with those around us and with our current lot in life, just think about how great life would be. So, go out there and share your knowledge and wisdom with others. In that manner, hopefully they will enjoy their life in retirement when the time comes as much as we do now.

Until next time!

Comments for Choices

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Response to Joe Curiel
by: Irwin

Hi Joe:

I have been learning the hard way as I would imagine all of us new to blogging are finding that posts should be short and brief. I have been attempting to keep my posts to a minimum of 500 words when and if possible but yet another thing I try to do is keep my paragraphs small as well.

Regarding my passion(s) - I would have to say that I have but a few namely, reading, writing and line dancing - with the problem being that we keep ourselves so busy traveling and active socially within our community that I am finding it hard to spend much time on my reading and writing.

One of my biggest problems is I also love TV and some of the shows on at night (I am a fan of NCIS and other mystery shows) which is the time I should be reading and writing. Truth be told, I am planning on changing my routine in 2015 so as to incorporate more of what I like to do versus that which I feel should or must be done.

Reading - I have always loved to read.
Writing - I have been keeping journals of some sort for over 30 years now.
Line dancing - took it up as rehab needed after three surgeries in 2004 and have been dancing ever since.

Seeing that the first two of these have always been at the top of my "to do" lists, and line dancing the result of exercise I needed to recuperate, I truly do not have any advice on how to find your passion. But surely, if you sit down and think about your likes and dislikes, you could up with something you love to do. Then it is just a matter of making (not finding - but making) the time to do it.

Hope this helps.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Finding one's passion
by: Irwin

Hi Joe:

Thanks for your comments and I will do my best not to make this long and drawn out. It is interesting that you should ask the question about finding one's passion at this time because to be truthful, I apparently have not truly found mine ......yet!

I have many things I enjoy doing BUT have a hard time deciding which one should take priority. We (my wife and I) love to line dance so part of my time is spent line dancing.

I love to read which in reality has fallen to the bottom of my list lately and I hope to move it farther up the list in 2015.

As evidenced by my writing, that is one of my many passions (actually if I were to prioritize my passions, it would be writing, line dancing, that order). But, life also comes into play there because family (my wife of 51+ years and our three children) are the number one priority of my life.

Finding a happy medium that will and does address these things is where the "balance" feature comes in. But I am working on it!

By the way, add to all the above, I recently began another blog entitled "Lakeland Musings by Irwin" which is yet another passion due to it involving writing and that too becomes another ball to try and keep in the air at the same time I am juggling all the others.

And as you can see, and I apologize for this, I have gotten long in the tooth once again but suffice it to say that even though I have many passions, fact of the matter is that they are all things I truly enjoy doing and so, bottom line, as long as I am doing one or the other, I am a happy camper. That's the bottom line - doing that which makes you happy (with the caveat that you continue making your family happy as well).

Hope this helps!

Choices - Reply
by: Joe Curiel

Hi Irwin,

I have been wanting to set time aside to read your article. Fortunately or Unfortunately, you cover such a wide range of great topics, that I found it a bit long and overwhelming.

Luckily I found some time today and just now read it. I want to thank you for sharing your ideas and thoughts.

One of the many great topics that you touched on is: Finding your Passion.

This has been a topic of great interest to me and must admit that I'm still not sure what mine is, thus I'm still looking.

I'm new to this concept of blogging, thus take my comments with a grain of salt. My intentions are to learn and offer comments that I hope are help-full to all readers of this website.

I pose this question to you and to all readers of this website.

You might have covered the answer, but here is my question. " What is your Passion?" How and when did you discover it? Any tips on how a person can find their passion?

Comments from all readers will be appreciated.

Joe Curiel

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