Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Act 2 of Life

The people at AARP know when you turn 50 and they send you an invitation to join up. To them, you’ve just crossed that line — you are a senior.

It’s been more than 20 years since I found my invitation in the mail box. At first, it was a punch in the stomach. Then I would joke about it with friends. But the clock stops for no one. Acceptance sets in.

People who don’t think much about retirement suddenly realize the day isn’t all that far off. Depressing? Here’s the good part. When you do finally retire, you really can, if you choose to, rediscover your passion.

Here is how I did it . . .

I knew that art and fitness were my callings by the time I was a teenager, and probably even earlier than that. What I could do better than most of my peers was draw. And I was always looking for ways to build up my body. Other matters, some important and some not, diverted my attention along the way; but, finally, there I was — retired. I could do as I wanted.

The years have passed. Yet I've never really thought of myself as being retired. I am fortunate to be absorbed in the creative process of making art and promoting the fitness lifestyle. Without these strong interests, or something equally engaging, I cannot imagine what life would be like.

We've all seen people who retire and then vegetate in front of a television set.

Probably your interests are very different than mine. But somewhere in each of us the interests are there, only waiting to be rediscovered and released. One good way to uncover them is by looking backward to your childhood and adolescence. Recall the thoughts, activities, and dreams that sent your imagination and spirit soaring. Those are your clues. Develop interests related to them and experience a personal renaissance.

Here is a great story about one retiree who is making the most of his time and living life to the fullest. Read In Act 2 of Life, Doing Work That Matters


Pennsy said...

I just discovered your blog today. What a blessing it is!

I am a few days shy of my 48th birthday, and began working out in January of this year. Your story makes me think that there may actually BE an Act 2 in my life if I keep setting goals and working toward them.

Thanks for your work. I'm a subscriber now, and will be a faithful reader of Gray Iron.


Brandon Richey said...

Very nice post! I am a strength and conditioning specialist that is still at the ripe age of 32, but I loved your response to AARP mail. Its all about attitude. Good job.