Sometimes people say to me, ‘Oh, I am old!’ and I reply, ‘No! You are older. That’s different.’ The word ‘old’ with its final ‘d’ is like the thud of a door slamming; whereas if we think in terms of ‘I am older’ we have the sense of an ongoing journey of discovery.
We may have pursued a job that earned us enough to support a family, but what will we do when there is no longer any need to turn up at the office? In retirement we have endless opportunities for new challenges, many of which may be without material reward, simply helping others. We have but one life and it is up to us to live it to the full.
Each of us has much to give. And so, long before we retire, we need to sit down and think: what shall I do when I have all the time in the world to myself? Am I just going to sit in front of the television and vegetate?! Perhaps, as many today are discovering, we may be able to do some of those things we have always wanted to do: to dance, act, paint, sculpt, make pots, mentor younger people – or maybe even care for those older than us.