I thought I’d throw this out and see what responses I get.
First and foremost I’ve had a GREAT life, I’ve worked hard, played hard, traveled a lot, and have enjoyed pretty much every minute of my life; very few regrets, how many people can say that?
So now I’m 63 and I want to give back. Does anyone else feel like me? What are you doing? What would you recommend? Sooooooo much more I could say but inspire me now, please!
And thanks to Marriott for being part of my life for so long.
Insidenji, I was where you are 11 years ago. I was 63, I had worked hard for almost 50 years and enjoyed, pretty much, most of the minutes of my life.
At that point, I retired and began a new chapter, For the past 11 years I have traveled about 40 nights each year. I volunteer at a religious organization every Tuesday (when I'm not traveling). On Thursdays, I volunteer at the US Holocaust Museum. One Wednesday each month I shop for baked goods for a soup caravan that feeds about 150 homeless and lower income people. I try to be generous to charities.
This still leaves me with plenty of social time. Spring through fall, I play golf with friends almost every Friday and an occasional Wednesday or Monday. One day each week, my wife and I help our daughter by picking up our grand daughter at day care and spending some time with her. We go to lunch or dinner once or twice each week with friends and try to catch either a movie or live performance each weekend.
Senior years are an excellent chance to give back!
A couple of suggestions about retirement. You will miss the camaraderie of an office so seek volunteer oportunities that can provide a social experience. Work out a schedule so that you know what day it is based upon what you are doing. Many retirees lose track of the calendar and have trouble remembering what day of the week today is. A bit of structure in your schedule is helpful, that way.
Thank-you for sharing!
I sat next to Joan Rivers, decades ago at Michelle's Colony Surf, in Honolulu, HA. She had a statement that never left me:
Yesterday is History,
Tomorrow is a Mistery,
Today is a blessing from God, that's why we call it "The Present"!
Again, thank-you for you lovely post!
First off, great attitude toward appreciating the joys of life most all of us in this forum have been fortunate enough to experience. Coming from a world of business and negotiated deals, I'm always looking for highest return of investment; results vs. activities (activities only count in marriage ). Now, not to go all Gordon Gekko on you ("Greed is good"), I'm not advocating being selfish about your efforts, but instead am suggesting that perhaps like I have experienced, if you contribute back doing things you enjoy (and even more valuable, things you enjoy that you are good at) IMO, you stand a good chance of 'giving even more back'. I had several friends who felt the only way to contribute was to "suffer through it" and finally they realized they'd do a whole lot more good if they enjoyed what they were doing.
Sometimes I prefer training organizations on how best to recruit (marketing) volunteers; other times, because I love doing it and am pretty decent at it, like fundraising booksales, "let's go folks, keep it moving, we've got books to sell here, hup, hup ", I'm the worker bee. The bottom line to me at least; there are so many places that can use our support, that if you choose activities you really enjoy, you'll often find you'll get caught up in The Flow, losing yourself in the activity providing enormous amounts of energy (and the very type of inspiration you write about above) and much needed support, which ties in well with what phctourist advises above.
You're off to a great start with a terrific attitude, which BTW, is another way of contributing, training and mentoring others, instilling in them that same attitude - the multiplier effect. It looks to me that your inspiration is already at a supercharged level, so best wishes and Go Man, Go!
Wonderful for sure to see this post.
I too have had a very very blessed life from the very start right up to the time I am typing this post. I was able to enjoy a rewarding long career with an amazing early age to retire. I've made incredible friends along the way who I am able to be around often, lucky enough to have traveled often and seen many beautiful places and people.
I have a beautiful wife inside and out with a heart bigger than Texas and accepts my crazed of center attitude and sense of humor. A great friend and successful Son who I've had the pleasure of watching grow up to be a wonderful husband and provider for his lovely wife.
Giving back is something I choose to do for the military men and women by supporting the Lone Star Veteran's Association, a local group that provides help to our veteran's in need emotionally, physically, mentally and career wise. I have met some simply amazing folks that have sacrificed so much for our country and it gives me a great sense of honor to be able to help in any way I can.
Yes, I am so thankful for so much.
To phctourist, your suggestions are wonderful (you’re so right about sometimes missing an office, co-workers, clients, etc.), and your volunteer stories are moving.
To jerrycoin, I agree; so many people have regrets about the past or spend all their time and energy looking toward the future but often forget about the present. It is so important to live RIGHT NOW!
To erc, gosh there were so many good things in your reply. Do what you enjoy when giving back, even be a bit greedy, impacted me the most.
I’d loved to get involved with Honor Flight for two reasons; my Dad was a WWII veteran but unfortunately he died before he could see the National WWII Memorial in Washington DC. I took lots of pictures of the Memorial and he really enjoyed seeing them. So I’d love to help the dwindling WWII veterans get to DC and see how our country appreciates them. And the second greedy reason is because I love Washington DC. So you’re right; volunteering is noble but make it something you enjoy.
The other thing I’ve pondered as you mentioned is being a mentor to younger people. There is an organization where I live called Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge and they help people overcome addictions like drugs and alcohol. I never been addicted to either (just a bit of a jewelry disease) and a lot of the people they hire have experience in dealing with and overcoming those problems but I feel like I could offer some good life advice.
I would say:
I’ve never been married (I’ve had a lot of great relationships and I do like men), I have no kids (I enjoy being with my nieces and nephews, however the whole kid thing just never appealed to me), and never owned a home (yes I rented all my life), so I’m a bit of a freak, definitely an outlier.
My advice to young people today would not be to live life like I did; it certainly worked out well for me but not everyone would want my life. Rather take time to explore different things, experience different situations, relationships, and environments and then try to decide on the lifestyle you really want.
A friend of mine who is happily married with two grown sons keeps telling me with regard to marriage and parenthood, “You just don’t know what you’re missing”, and I NEVER counter with “And you don’t know what you’ve missed with regard to my lifestyle”. That would be rather presumptuous of me. As long as he is happy with his life and the choices he’s made that’s great, right?
And erc, you’re correct; I do have a positive attitude which can be very contagious; I’m ready to go, (wo)man, go!!
And last but not least to IAHFLYER, it was so nice to read what you wrote about your wife and family in such a loving way (I knew deep down you were a softie), and your volunteer efforts for the brave men and women in the military are very admirable.
A lot of this ties in with Thanksgiving and it was inspiring to read your responses.
Have a great weekend everyone and “Gobble Gobble”, which is Turkey-ish for have a very Happy Thanksgiving!!
Thank-you for the wonderful response and feedback!
It reminds me of something else, I learned the hard way:
"Be careful what you PRAY for, you might just get it"!
But of course, do pray!
I love this topic, insidenji! Thanks for posting it and sharing a little bit about yourself, and thanks to those that replied. I'm not quite there yet in years (52 and still working) but I think the spirit of volunteerism is alive and well at MRI. I know that many others do good deeds and won't write about them -- so thank you to those unsung heroes. I'm grateful each day that I don't have the ailments/troubles of others and am healthy enough to raise my son and give back as well. For Thanksgiving, we spent the day preparing, serving and cleaning up for a community dinner our second snowmobile club puts on free at the clubhouse. It was our fifth year doing this, and I'm proud of my 11 year-old's efforts to help with it all. I'm trying hard to lead by example, and can't wait until retirement to do that since I had him so late in life. Besides volunteering at school and with our hockey club, I have been on a few non-profit boards and feel I can make an impact there with my organizational skills (as erc said, it's something I'm good at AND enjoy). While I'm doing that, my husband is head deacon at our church so he's being an example in his own way. As a family, we support our local chapter of Easter Seals and visit the special needs Camp Sno-Mo here in NH during the summer. This really puts gratefulness into perspective for us. I would only suggest that to those grandparents who don't already do this, if possible bring along one of the grandkids at least once when you volunteer. It will plant the seed, and it's never too late to help the kiddos see things through other people's eyes.