Retirement - It ain't so bad
by John Armstrong
Retirement-That's a word commonly associated with being put out to pasture because we're at the end of our useful life; no longer productive, no longer have that drive and the rest I forget.
The hustle and bustle of the work place, the invigorating feelings going through the veins and the fire and drive to accomplish a goal are now gone. A sense of depression begins to set in to the mind. Where did the self worth and identity go? Where's the excitement? Who am I now?
Soon after retirement I discover there's time on my hands, I've discovered watching paint dry and grass grow exciting and offered tons of reward...yeah right.
It took about two or so years to move beyond those feelings and thoughts. Despite having less money coming in and no longer being under the gun from a fire breathing boss, retirement can be a full and productive life.
What I am slowly finding out it's not what you have and can buy, but rather what one can give of himself in service to others.
For the last year I have volunteered at a hospital and see all sorts of folks who are ill, injured, dying, poor and rich. They all need uplifting because of their present condition. What better service can one do than to bring a smile to another face by acknowledging and giving that other person a sense of value...a sense of worth during difficult times?
As I walk through the halls of the hospital, I see folks who are not feeling well, who are worried or just lost a loved one because of some illness or injury. I've learned to be more compassionate and have grown as a person seeing people going through difficulties and realize that I can make a difference in their lives by just being nice to them; whether smiling, offering to get them a cup of coffee or just sitting down to shoot the bull, chew the fat or what ever we want to call it.
I've learned money can't buy your health. Those of us who are healthy in retirement are blessed and should make the most of it in service to others who are less fortunate because of their circumstances.
So with this being said, I think I can safely say that I'm finding my purpose in life again even though I'm not being paid for it monetarily. I get paid in other intrinsic ways that are far more valuable than the almighty dollar.
I have the power to make another person's life just a little brighter for a little while by merely giving a smile, helping them out the door or saying hello. It's amazing what those little things will do. It's amazing to realize it's those little things that will break down social, economic and racial barriers among all of us.
This is the wealth that should be spread around the country on a daily basis; it's not the money that's important. I feel if we all did this, our country would not be in the shape that it's in now. We'd have compassion for each other since we are in this world together. Maybe that's a simplistic way of looking at things, but that's the change in me. I may be politically conservative in my thinking, but I'm liberal in spreading God's love, giving courtesy and due respect to others; the way things should be instead of political correctness (PC) that seems to run amok through the country.
I think if we all lived by the Golden Rule - "Give unto others as you would have them give unto you", we'd be a lot better off and PC no longer necessary.
I enjoy being a bright spot in someone's life, even if for one second or one hour. With that in mind, I'm already a rich man.
Retirement....Nah....It ain't so bad after all.
WOW, John, when we chat, you've never mentioned volunteering, and you've done it for a year now? Good for YOU! I took an application for our local hospital maybe six months ago, but haven't acted upon it yet. I thought much the same... if I can help one person get through their struggles that day, the world is better off.Kudos to you for volunteering and making our world a happier place!!