Fifty something …

MondayI want to point out to the world that people over 50 have a lot to offer. I want to point this out to all age groups but especially to people who are past 50 or thereabouts.

I get tired of hearing people talk about retirement. Retirement belongs to the previous generations – our parents and their parents (if they lived long enough). I am not suggesting that we keep working at a job we hate or find too difficult. I am saying that we need to pause and reflect on this phase of our lives. You may need to keep working at your job due to financial pressures but is there the capacity to reduce your hours?

Consider the following:

• Is there so much more you would like to be doing with your time?

• Do you have interests that you would like to pursue now but don’t have the time?

• This period of our lives (say 45 – 80ish) is likely to be very different than it was for our parents who were born before World War II

• If you are anticipating using your time to catching up on years of reading, and are happy to do that, then that is fine. Read no further!

• Maybe you want to spend more time with your grandchildren or are artistic and enjoy you leisure time in these pursuits and find them to be gratifying.

• Do you get up each morning and wonder what is the point of getting up as you did yesterday what you will do again today and the day after?

• Do you get irritable because the world seems to be run by young people – eg doctors, the media, some politicians that don’t look old enough to vote?

• Does your brain still function the way it used to, or is it even better now that you have abandoned a lot of the crap that came from working full-time and the office politics?

• Are you unsure of how to dress – you don’t want to be masquerading as a young person? How do you see yourself?

• Are you able to graciously profess your views without getting defensive when younger people see your views as obsolete?

• Consider how you plan to spend the next 20-30 years? Do you want to sit around getting old and immobile? If you are still actively involved in sport, then good for you!

• Is there a way we can collectively find a valuable place in society that breaks the common stereotypes of the over fifties?

• Does social media provide us with an avenue to express ourselves and perhaps help others at the same time?

• How would you feel about using some of your skills or developing new skills to assist the community to improve health, education and environmental outcomes?

• How would you feel about gaining your community’s respect and gratitude for the use of these skills?

• Would you be prepared to work for a nominal amount that Not For Profits could afford?

• Can you see the difference between this idea and the tremendous work that thousands of volunteers already do each day in Australia (and other parts of the world)?

• Can you make sense of all of the above and are excited about contributing ideas on how we can change this concept into reality?

If you would like to get more involved with me on this project you can email me on reoh@iinet.net.au

Thanks for reading 🙂

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15 thoughts on “Fifty something …

  1. We are strong. Hear us roar! 🙂 Entering Life’s Third Act does not mean quietly drifting off to societies sidelines, as many cultures encourage. It’s about thriving and doing what we’ve, perhaps, always wanted to do but have had too many other commitments. These are great questions, Rainee… thought provoking and worthy of exploring. I am wishing you much joy and success as you embark on this noble initiative!

  2. For the last 10 years of my working life, I worked for non-profits to “give back to the community.” Now, my time is my own to spend as I see fit . . . and I love it! My days are pleasantly occupied with a variety of interesting activities. I am never bored and there is always more to do than time to do it.

    If I get bored, I would volunteer or get a part time job. But for now, I’m happy with the status quo.

    • It is great that you enjoy your time now doing things you love. I started out my working life in the not-for-profit sector but then moved on to being a Government employee. The world has changed a lot in that time and maybe I am just trying to come to terms with that :-).

  3. We all have a reason to wake up in the morning, anyone can do anything,if they want to, one can be 50+ yet can accomplish a lot more if they’re willing to do so.Blaming the young people doesn’t help, they are not stopping us from doing anything we want to do.

    • I think you hit the nail on the head with your point about having a choice. Once out of full time work there are almost too many options to choose how to spend our time. For me it has been about trying to find the right fit 🙂

  4. A quote came my way today that I think speaks to this issue. “You are valuable because you exist. Not because of what you do or what you have done, but simply because you are.” –Max Lucado, author and pastor [Source: Guideposts Scripture and Reflection Newsletter]

    If a persons entire life, value and self work has been wrapped up in their job, then they may have problems when that job is gone. The “world” may also have trouble recognizing that people who are retired still have value. Attitudes toward aging an both sides still need lots of work.

    That’s really all I have to say because Bob and I are loving retirement. We are definitely not sitting in a rocking chair waiting to die.

  5. I believe creativity is key to sanity! There is still so much I want to see and do… even visit Oz!

    Let’s just hope things begin to happen here for us so that we can again do the things we really want to do!

    Arthur’s words are true but if you do all of that for no financial reward you starve so it’s still important to gain some income… that is what’s hampering me at this stage but I’ll keep being creative! 😉

    • Thanks Vossey! I agree with what you say. Creative ways of thinking can help us access the things we want to. And yes, it is vitally important to have some money coming in – hopefully doing something we elast njoy doing. Thanks for reading and reminding me of this post – it could have been useful for my retirees group but we had our last week. I will be running it again next semester. Hope you had a good Easter!

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