Life After Retirement? November 2013
Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it, you've got to start young. (Theodore Roosevelt)
Because I've just retired, this got me thinking. I'm not 'old' yet, but what seeds have I sown in my earlier life to make a success of it?
Good health has to be one of the most important factors in making retirement a positive experience, especially since this is the time when age-related illnesses can appear.
Here, I smugly feel one step ahead of the game. Vegetarians and vegans are generally healthier and have a higher life expectancy than non-vegetarians. (See Better for All.)
I also live a stone's throw from the local leisure centre. That would be a test cricketer's throw, as opposed to mine, which may reach the neighbour's gate, with the wind behind me. At one end of the pool is a motivational poster claiming that swimming half an hour every week will result in better health, toned muscles and a longer life. I do that. (Double smug!)
Also, I have just got a puppy. Dogs, apparently make their owners happier, and can also extend their life.
The puppy, Willow, a labrador/retriever cross, is a Guide Dog Puppy who I will be 'puppy walking' for about a year. This could so easily turn into a blog and dog, but I will restrain myself (which is more than I can do with her at the moment).
By now I feel I have clocked up enough extra years to guarantee the card from Buckingham Palace. So, with my statistically extended life, I'm fretting about how to fill these extra hours.
For a start, I've browsed VfL's publications. 'A Positive Approach to Retirement' in Vegetarian Living has given me plenty of (meat-free) food for thought. I really recommend all of the publications – they are full of tips, recipes and endorsements of a vegetarian diet.
Meanwhile, I'm going to make Hearty Lentil Soup (from Cooking on a Budget) for lunch. It's warm, delicious, filling, economical and healthy. I'm looking forward to it. Maybe that's the key – always having something planned to look forward to.
If any of you have any tips for a fulfilling retirement, then please share them. The beauty of the internet is that we can make new friends online. And friendship, of course, is one of the most life-enhancing things of all.