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RETIREMENT -
IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO ENJOY LIFE!

How many of us start to regret the things we haven't done in our lives as we get older & near retirement? When we're young - years pass slowly and there seems to be all the time in the world to do all the things we'd like to do. Suddenly we find ourselves on the "wrong" side of 50 and feeling that it's too late.

But it is never too late if you put your heart and mind to it. Obviously there are some practicalities. I know I'll never climb Mount Everest now - but a hill in Scotland is possible...slowly! I was lucky enough to travel to several other countries when I was younger, but now I'd like to see more of my own country. I find I have the maturity of my age, but a childlike wonder at the world we live in. I'm no longer rushing around and can spend a little restful time just looking. Sometimes the glimpse of someone's beautiful & colourful garden in a road that seems full of concrete and brick can make you feel really good. But you need to be aware that these little surprises are there. It's so easy to be caught up in the doom and gloom that surrounds us these days that we can so easily miss a little ray of sunshine.

Maybe, for you, actual travel is not possible - but there are books from the local library to read and travel DVD/Videos to watch and get a flavour of the places you would have liked to visit - and a flavour of the food eaten in those countries is possible now. So many supermarkets and restaurants now cater for food from around the world that means we can eat meals that a few years ago would have been impossible. I especially feel that food is important when we get older (especially when retired) because the variety available means we don't keep eating the same sort of thing every day, but can vary it as often as our taste buds need!

As our taste buds change as we get older, so do our feelings of usefulness. It's important not to feel that you are "past it" because you've reached a retirement age, but that you still have a lot to offer and a lot to enjoy - they just aren't the things of our youth. But they do have great value in their own right.

There are many retired people who still have a yearning for life and this is so important in making us feel we can still contribute. There are those who have started jogging to keep fit and can now complete a marathon! Or those who did not have the education they might have liked who are now proud of their University degree. So great things are still possible - you just have to be open enough to see them. If you have friends with the same hobby, you have a whole area of your life where information and support is available at any time, so it just needs a little "stretching" to include all those things that you wished you'd done, but never got around to.

Author: Heather Rudge 08/11/05
Part-time researcher with a specific interest in the older generation.

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