After retirement – what next?

Lately it would seem that many of the articles I have been seeing and reading about deal with or talk about “old” people. Or the article tends to call these “old “people, senior citizens, elderly or something of a similar nature. Myself, I personally do not see the need to classify individuals once they reach a certain age.

I know of people much younger than me that if I were inclined to categorize them, I would have to place them in a category of being old, yes – a senior citizen and in some instances due to the way the person or persons act, elderly or senior citizens. However, by the same token, I know many people some of who are much older than I am that based on their current life style, activities they are involved with – I would no more consider them to be old, elderly or senior citizens either.

It is all a matter of what we as individuals perceive when we look at something. Take for instance when one goes to the doctor – haven’t you at times looked around the room and after taking in the apparent physical condition of other patients waiting to see the doctor – asked yourself – “Why am I here when there are so many others my age or older that truly need to see the doctor?”

There comes a time in our lives (leastways that time has apparently come into mine) when one has to step back and ask ourselves – where would I like to be five years, ten years, or even fifteen years from now given my present health conditions? Or better yet, should I wake up tomorrow and find that I can no longer function on my own as I have for these past seventy odd some years, what is my game plan for addressing such a dilemma?

The older I get, the more thoughts such as these continually haunt me. We would all like to think we are somewhat immortal and that we can go on forever without any physical problems causing us concern but unless we all have some fabulous genes, that probably is not going to happen. So how do we address it?

Fact is that there should be a game plan in place as to where one would like to be should they find themselves in a position that they cannot function on their own or tend to need some type of assistance around the house or getting to and from various appointments. While I am way past the time to read about how life should go – you know – graduate high school, go to and graduate from college – get a job, fall in love, get married – have a family – be there to guide your children through their college years – retire, and so forth, fact of the matter is that the planning process is not over once we retire.

While one might think that once we retire all we need do next is realize that sooner or later we are all going to die. However, once we attend to our end of life planning, i.e., funeral, cremation, or what have you, our job is still not done. What about the time in-between? In many cases we do not just go from retirement to the great beyond.

Health is a funny thing. One can be quite healthy today and wake up tomorrow with some illness or another or we may fall and break a hip immobilizing us for several weeks or even months. What then? What do we do should we become disabled, home bound, or in one way or another dependent on others for making it through the day?

Do we look to our children for assistance? What if they are scattered across the country? What if they are not financially able to provide assistance? And if they are, which one do you choose to ask for assistance and how will the others take it?

Makes one wish they had made a “life plan” earlier doesn’t it?

Decisions, decisions, decisions! Such is life! While I may be done with this article – as can be seen above, I am definitely not done with this subject.

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There is hope for us yet!

Two weeks ago we attended our granddaughter’s high school graduation ceremony and other than being there to celebrate her special moment, we thoroughly enjoyed the Guest Speaker’s Commencement Address. As part of a continuing program the school instituted a few years back, the school reached out to a former alumna, Class of 1999 to speak to the graduating class.

As we sat there listening to the remarks, comments, and words of wisdom this speaker provided the graduates, my mind wandered back – back to my high school years and found me wishing that I had paid more attention to my school work and what life had to offer. Understand, looking at my beginnings and then fast-forwarding to where we are today, I must say I am not unhappy with our lot in life. But I will go on record as saying that had I been a bit more curious, adventurous, and let us just say a bit more inquisitive at that point in my life – one does have to wonder where I would or might be today.

This was a small graduating class (109 students in all) but the neat part about it was that forty percent of the class received High Honors and Distinctions along with a grade point average of 4.00 and above (and yes our granddaughter was part of this forty percent). Twenty-seven percent had High Honors along with a grade point average of 3.500 to 3.999 and the remaining students graduating were divided equally with half graduating with Honors and grade point averages between 3.200 and 3.499 and the other half being distinguished graduates.

So, apparently – at least in our little corner of the world – we do have some students still of the opinion that an education means something and are working towards bettering themselves so that they might go on to become as successful as they can in whatever position they end up with in life.

One thing I did mention to our granddaughter as she entered this new phase of her life was that she continue being optimistic so that she too will persevere. Everyone potentially has the ability to fulfill their wildest dreams. As students embark on this next chapter of their lives – they will find themselves on their way up. With attitudes such as those presented last evening by the graduating class of 2015, I have no doubt that at least the students of this class will be seeing many sights and will join the high flyers as they soar to great heights.

It makes one feel real good inside to attend such an affair and see that some portion of our students are heading in the right direction.