Life is different from living. While life is beyond the making of an individual, living is mad-made. In other words, whereas life is a given, living is by choice. All around us are humans who breathe in and out to keep life on; strong and agile men and woman to boost population sizes but the standard of living is never same. For goodness sake, beggars on the streets do have life but are living low while Presidents of nations, who are also equally alive, are living the best way possible.
Life is a given but planning is living. Life might be long or short but the quality of living is by planning. I also make bold to say that life is a like a questionnaire while living is nothing more than the ability to responding to the questions of life. No one wishes to die young but how many are really planning for living when life stretches as wished?
I have in the last two discussions on this page concentrated on retirement without money. If you recalled, I also once wrote on how to be active in retirement such that the period in retirement should not be for idleness, gossips, drunkenness and busy bodying all over the places which in the real sense of it, are the wrong ways many are spending their days and times in retirement. Living is making your retirement the best days of your life. The times are here to get you a lot busier with ideas that can make your retirement worth the while.
To my mind, to make your retirement meaningful, add colour and glamour to your last days and times on earth and to end your life a fulfilled man or woman, the need to appropriately supply answers to the following questions cannot be overemphasized and you know what? I will seek to give you some tips here so let’s go.
What have you always desired to do and can you do those things now? If not, why not?
Within every creature of God is an innate ability. There could be several abilities in some but I’m sure there’s one in you just like late Chief Obafemi Awolowo said that ‘everyone is born with an infinitesimal purpose; some find theirs and some don’t’. Since retirement is the last lap of your life no matter the duration, the need then arises to do a soul search of this/these innate ability/ies and activate them.
Self discovery is possible at any age like Colonel Sanders discovered Kentucky fried chicken at the age of 65 or Ray Kroc, Macdonald’s at 52. Robert Kiyosaki began a new life with the writing of his book ‘rich dad, poor dad’ at retirement; he has since written many more while the real estate investment he started after his retirement flourishes till date. Your life is back to your hands at retirement and I tell you that making the best of it is so much possible as in when you were relatively younger.
Please note that this you might want to do that can range from tending a garden to animal husbandry, nursing, fashion and embroidery does not necessarily need to be that big or robust; it could be at a subsistence level depending on your capacity and location but it must be such that will not occupy your time so much that rest would be taken away therefore, now, let the mind search begin. What have you always loved to do?
I was with a retired director in a construction company few years back; he had promised his friends that he was going to retire fully but the conclusion a few years after his retirement was that he never can stop building; not necessarily because he needed the funds but because that was his passion, I guess the man just loves being at the site of building constructions, putting through budding builders on how to do it right. The chairman of a leading printing press in Nigeria should be in his eighties by now but yet, firing on more as a leisure than full occupation; his wealth of experience had been the main backbone for the company till date as the executives of the company would seldom go to his house for advise after all, you might have clothes like an old man but never as many rags says the Yoruba people of western Nigeria so I ask, as a retiree, what is your own rags that might be of use to others? It is of importance that you find it as that can be your area of engagement at retirement.
There are professions you never can fully retire from; for example, I don’t see myself retiring from writing. I may at a time reduce the length of time I spend on my system but I don’t think I can give up writing and so are many that I’ve seen. I was told that you become better in professions like law as you become older, why not at retirement but not on a full scale as you used to. I can tell that die hard investors in stocks don’t retire, if anything, they get better under whatever market state. I’m bold to mention here that this is where Mrs Victoria OyinAlo belongs. This woman served Union bank meritoriously, retired and took to investing in stocks. She even sat for her chartered stockbrokers exams at about the age of 70 but she does really needs the certificates upon all the professional qualifications in accounting and banking she got at her younger age? Not really but can you blame her for following her passion? That is why mama is always smart, agile and active. She does travels round the globe to rest and sometimes babysit but she remains to the best of my knowledge an investor to the core.
Instead of staying idle, why not consider spiritual matters? At least now that you are older, your preferences for things that offend God should be low and because you are less busy than you used to, who says you cannot be an intercessor? Starting from your immediate family, your extended family and to the larger nation? Wake up from slumber o retiree, thou art sleepest for too long; your nation needs thee at this trying period. The discussion continues next week. God bless you.