In my earlier years, I dreamed about the day that I would retire. I would sit on my front porch with my special person and reminisce about the good things in life. We would travel to places like Las Vegas, Florida, and Hawaii. Our children would bring our grandchildren to visit during the holidays. Retirement life as a Baby Boomer would be filled with rest, relaxation, laughter, and peace. The days of having to do would be gone. There would be no more sixteen-hour shifts at work, no alarm clocks to set, and no more rushing around on weekends. Our Boomer life would be about not doing after so many years of hard work.
Over forty years later, my dreams are still the same. But, now that I’m officially here, I’ve added some things to my list. My to-NOT-do list. These are the things that keep my retirement goals attainable. The things that I don’t do to keep my body and spirit healthy. Here are the promises that I continue to make to myself and my partner:
Worry keeps me from enjoying the little things. Sunrises, sunsets, music, and art. A cloud formation, the sound of rain, or the beauty of snowfall. The taste of freshly-baked cinnamon rolls and the softness of a baby’s hand. These are small pleasures that should be taken in as often as possible. How can I enjoy them if I’m always worrying?
I will not waste countless hours watching soap operas and sitcoms about other people’s lives. Instead, I will live my life.
Each person has earned his own right to think and be just as I have earned mine. To each, their own.
I will not spend hours in front of the mirror. I will take care of myself, of course – shower and take pride in my appearance. But, I will be grateful for the person that I have become and will not waste time trying to change my reflection.
I don’t need what the next-door neighbor has. Instead, I will appreciate what I have.
I will live in the moment and keep a positive attitude toward the future.
I will not plan my meals around greasy french fries, hamburgers, and salty hot dogs. Instead, I will love myself enough to eat a balanced and nutritional meal – though, I will indulge once in a while…because, I’ve earned it!
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Originally published October 17, 2022