Personal Best: The luxury of free time

Pat Black retiring and looking forward to more free time; much available for seniors

  • Jan. 29, 2012 9:00 a.m.

I’m excited. I am retiring again from my part-time day job at the end of March and as this is my third attempt at retirement I am hoping that I will get it right this time. I would love to continue working but my body is telling me it is time to quit. I love the work I do and the people that I work with and I will miss this part of my life but I also am looking forward to having more time to focus on the things that interest me and to visit my siblings and my kids. Maybe I will finally finish that book that I started 20 years ago.

For a lot of seniors, retirement can be a terrible time especially if your work defines who you are and is the main focus of your life. Now that we have no compulsory retirement age in B.C., a lot of people who turn 65 decide to keep on with jobs that give them satisfaction and monetary rewards. However, many others who work in jobs that bring no satisfaction are glad to be finished with them and look forward to the day they can retire. So retirement can be a blessing or a curse depending on your outlook.

I think it is essential to have something to look forward to doing in retirement that you never had time to do before. Maybe taking that course in Spanish, or tracing your family tree, or finally being able to go to aqua-fit a few times a week at the pool. Whatever your longed-for dream or goal is, it can now be accomplished and bring great satisfaction. So many people I know volunteer their time to many worthwhile organizations and feel a great sense of value and satisfaction. There are also many clubs and organizations with activities to meet everyone’s needs in our community and they are not necessarily expensive.

The people who have the most trouble with retirement usually are the people who associate their worth with their ability to make money and see no rewards in helping others unless they are getting paid for it. To them, volunteering to help others bring no concrete rewards and retirement itself with the implied loss of wages or status often brings on depression.

I am going to Florida in April, as I have before, but this time there is no rush, I can spend as long as I want there and with my other relations and friends in Ontario without the guilt of having to rush. This is indeed a luxury to which I look forward. I will continue to write this column and to try to reflect what is happening to seniors here and other places that I visit and share more of the joys of retirement as they happen.

Speaking about opportunities for seniors, just check the community page in The Morning Star for a week and you will be overwhelmed with the variety of activities available. A new publication of Community Exercise Programs in Vernon amazingly offers 28 different opportunities at nine locations around town for every kind of exercise you may require, from rehabilitation for hip and knee replacement to sitting in a chair and performing yoga breathing. We are indeed fortunate to have all these possibilities available. It seems that retirement can be just another door of opportunity opening, if we just turn the handle.

Sorry I forgot to put in the name of the new audiologist in town in my last column as I was reminded of by a reader. Her name is Tosha Hodgson at Rockwell Audiology, unit 204, 3334-30th Ave. (Sun Valley Mall), phone 250-545-2226.

If you have any comments or suggestions, you can reach me at 250-542-7928 or e-mail blackmail1@telus.net

Pat Black is The Morning Star’s seniors’ columnist, whose column appears every other Sunday.