Life begins ………… now!
Life begins ………… now!
I remember as a young boy seeing adverts for Saga holidays and over 50s insurance schemes and thinking how ancient people over 50 must feel.
My Grandparents were over 50 for a start and they were my parents (who also appeared old of course despite only being in their mid thirties) parents!
As I approach a milestone birthday this September (I can hear you asking from here, how rude! I’ll be 40), I can afford myself a retrospective wry smile of embarrassment at my former views.
How our views of age change over time. 50 is the new 40 and 65 is the new 50.
With the advances in medicine over the last 50 years and the next 50 sure to see even greater strides, it’s likely that many people turning 50 this year will be only half way through their lives.
That said, I do see many people over 50 in my consulting rooms who are struggling with life issues.
I’m generalising, of course, however they seem to fall into one of two categories;
Either they are still working, are stressed/anxious/depressed and can’t wait to retire to be free of the rat race and have some time to themselves.
Or, they are retired and seem to have lost a part of themselves which again leads to loneliness, anxiety or depression.
How can this be?
The second group have what the first group desire and yet still they struggle.
When we look at our basic human needs it starts to make sense.
Two of the basic human needs that we have to satisfy as we mature to stay happy are the need for significance and the need to contribute.
This is where problems can start to appear as people make transitions in their lives or situational change is forced upon them.
As business has become more autonomous our feeling of significance and contribution can lower, almost as though we’re just another cog in the machine.
Compare the unseen Bank Managers of today to the pillars of society that everyone revered and knew 25 years ago.
Those that have retired potentially have a different set of issues, especially men.
I’ve found a trend in men who have retired and are no longer physically able to do their manual labour become depressed as they feel emasculated, unable to contribute as they once did and feel insignificant.
So how can we start to really enjoy our lives, whatever stage we are at?
You are significant
Firstly, remember how important you are to so many different people.
You may not be full time parents anymore if your children have flown the nest.
However, believe me, you’re still needed. If you’re lucky enough to be a Grandparent, remember the pure love you had for yours.
There are so many ways you can benefit others with your knowledge and experience.
What 3 ways can you think of today that you can enhance the lives of others?
When you give in this way, you get so much more back.
Enjoy Your Freedom
How did you plan to spend your retirement time while you were working?
Are you at a stage where you can’t understand how you had time to work but still don’t seem to “do” anything?
Take some time out for you. You’ve worked hard for this time, enjoy it!
Know It’s Never Too Late
If you’re in a rut make a decision that you can start living again today.
You can do whatever you want.
There’s no rule book that says you have to live a certain way.
Life is for living, so go out and live it today!