IS GOOD PRACTICE
Covid-19 says: Ok… So you got restless sitting around. You figured out that taking walks and joining those online exercise classes
help you feel physically fit while I’m around? Good for you. Guess I’ll
find somebody else who spends most of the day thinking exercise is getting up to check out what’s in the refrigerator. Speaking of the fridge, are those pants you always put on getting tighter... ?
I say: “Things turn out best for those people who make the best
of how things turn out” is a mantra to live by. Having a positive mental outlook helps make you more resilient and able to better handle the changes that come your way. Sometimes, those plans you made just aren't going to work out. On the other hand, with a positive outlook you may start a new business or envision a whole new career.
According to a 2019 report by the Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics, the greatest share of older Americans in more than 50 years are working well into their 60s, and it's not because they need the money. Whatever you choose to do, work now on becoming more optimistic and you’ll be better able to handle stress.
Covid-19 says: Ha! I’m keeping you on your toes – is the curve up or leveling? Should you go out or stay in? Since everyone is home now, what’s for lunch? (Depressed yet?) I have to admit that somehow you really are pretty resilient. You’re using this time to clean out closets, plant that garden, and enjoy family time! Did I hear conversations about being grateful? About having confidence that the scientists will eventually come up with a vaccine? It kinda takes the fun out of my search and destroy.
I say: "One of life’s basic human needs is connection." When thinking about retiring, how will you stay connected? If most of your friends and acquaintances have been people you work with, be aware that you will not be joining them for lunch every day. If you move somewhere near your kids and grandkids, remember kids grow up and are busy with their friends and activities. Take a good look at yourself. Think about who you are now and what you enjoy doing. Broaden your social network, and have a discussion with your partner about his/her vision of life in retirement.
Covid-19 says: Well, for those of you who have the ‘go-go’s’ just get
used to being at home. ‘Make new friends but keep the old,’ and all
that? Well, maybe. But just because you are getting out a bit, don’t plan too many big dinners and parties yet. I’m still here. Although…, there does seem to be a lot of new neighborhood friendships happening.
I noticed that before I arrived you never took the time to get to know your neighbors. Looks a lot different now. By the way, what’s the deal with Zoom? I thought it was just for business meetings! Lots of you guys got really creative and figured out how to work from home with meetings, talk and play with the grandkids, and even form book clubs where you can meet new people. Impressive. But just remember, it’s true I don’t like the heat - but there’s always winter!
I say: "When I talk about spirituality, I am talking about who you are as a
person – your basic core beliefs and values." Goals and priorities change as you get older. No longer do you strive for the promotion or the bigger house and fancier car. Instead, ask yourself, how important is feeling fulfilled? Spending time with family and friends? Being creative and motivated? Shifting easily into retirement requires taking inventory of yourself.
Covid-19 says: Well, well, look at that. You people have been so quick to reach out to each other. Even being kind enough to share your toilet paper? Amazing! After the restaurants closed, some of the owners kept people on by cooking meals for doctors, nurses and others at the hospitals. Impressive. I even hear that the donation centers are overloaded with bags and boxes of things that you finally realized you didn't need any more. (And you are not even waiting for the tax receipt!) All this “We are in this together,” stuff was a real surprise. But, whatever. I’m still here - until you figure out how to get rid of me!
Keep practicing! Get physical; find creative ways to spend your time, and continue to offer random acts of kindness to your friends and neighbors. And feel good knowing that you are paving the path to retirement!
Loretta Saff, M.A., CPC, CPRC
As an active writer, both nationally and internationally, Loretta Saff's humor columns, blog, and lifestyle articles reflect an insight in dealing with situations that helps people get to their core issues and encourage confidence, trust and support.