Never Retire, just change your mindset!

by Harold
(Red Deer Alberta Canada)

I retired from teaching in December 13, 2013 at 3:00 in the afternoon. My administration had called for a general assembly in the gym.

I assembled my students and took them to the gym for the assembly. As we entered the gymnasium, a close and dear colleague of mine took me by the arm and sat me down on a very comfortable chair in front of the stage.

The admin, staff and students had organized a program that would last about 45 minutes. Current students along with former students and my youngest daughter who is also an educator, were asked to make comments about how I had impacted them and their choices, but more importantly their peers.

A friend of mine had produced a video montage of my 20 year life at Iron Ridge Junior Campus in Blackfalds. Needless to say, I was a bowl of jelly when everything was said and done.

They had a reception in the Gathering Area after the program where parents came in to thank me for everything I had done for their children over those 20 years.

I had received several gifts from the school staff, kids, and school board that continue to hang in my basement.

For me as an educator I was all about trying to develop a positive culture within the school and make the kids aware of how their actions can impact others both positively and negatively.

My room had been packed up prior to this day which was also a very emotional time for me as well. I wanted to be ready so when the bell rang, I would leave school, hop in my car and drive home and pack my clothes for a two-week vacation in Australia.

When we got back from Christmas Holidays, I picked up my paint brush and began painting houses, something I had done my entire adult life.

I always said that I needed to have purpose in my life in retirement and painting, coaching basketball at my daughters high school, and maintaining my fitness would fill that void.

Needless to say, I haven't really retired, although I'm beginning to pack in the painting as I really don't need the money anymore.

People are talking about routines, I prefer to think of having purpose in your life. That puts everything in perspective for me at least.

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Thank you for your positive comments on changing your mindset during retirement. However, I have found that establishing a routine has been helpful in changing my mindset. It has helped me to identify my purpose.

Make choices and set goals
by: Michael - Warm and Sunny Venice Florida

"The future belongs to those who have dreams."

That is a quote I have written down on a piece of paper in my bedroom. I don't know who said it. I also remember hearing one time that "some days, all you have is your dreams."

We spend our working lives dreaming and planning for the future. Then, we retire, and now "the future" is here.

For me, I now need to fulfill those dreams or come up with new dreams if the old ones are no longer important.

Right now, I'm planning my summer garden for my home in upstate New York. That gives me something to look forward to doing. I'm 56 now. I left the working world at 51. It's still strange when people consider me to be "retired."

Last week, I was speaking to a woman who I had met for the first time as part of a new volunteer group. She asked me what I do as a career. Facetiously, I said "I do nothing." Then, I said, "I'm unemployed, but when I used to work, I did accounting." I prefer not to think of myself as "retired" but just no longer working by choice and fortunate enough to longer have the need to work in order to earn an income.

When you're younger, you make choices and set goals. It should be no different just because you have reached a certain age. And, if you're stuck in an "old folks' home" then at least plan or dream on how to break out of that place!

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