After working for half a century as an optometrist, my big brother Bill has finally retired and will be living full time in Naples, Florida. But like so many people who have dedicated their lives to a valuable career, he has “fear of free time.”
The busy business executive cannot picture what his/her day would be like if they didn’t have to go to the office, attend meetings, and manage important projects. But most of them find, as I and most of my Florida friends have, that your days get productively filled and you wonder “where did the time go?”
My brother Bill should have no fears what so ever, he plays golf, swims, bicycles, walks, reads science fiction, and is a very talented wood worker (and is shipping all his equipment down to establish a shop in his back yard).
An excerpt from my “Senior Tennis” book is appropriate…
15-Year Aging Block Theory
When I was in my mid 30’s, people kept on talking about being “middle aged,” which implied that the rest of life was all in decline. That was a negative and depressing perspective; so I developed my own life cycle changes…
Age 0-15: The Body Grows – While there is lots of other stuff going on, the biggest thing is your body growing to its full size.
Age 16-30: The Mind Grows – Through the end of high school, during college, the military and the start of your business career, the mind absorbs a lot of new information.
Age 31-45: The Career Grows – Most people grow, get promoted, and peak in their career by their mid-forties. They will either coast in that job till retirement, or start a new career.
Age 46-60: The Second Career Grows – The workplace is full of people in this age group who are just “holding on” and waiting for retirement. They have effectively retired on the job. Even if someone stays at their original job, they will then find “something else” to challenge them… church, charity, sports, etc.
If they don’t stay and coast at that job, they could start a new career. Think of the “burned out business executive” who turns to teaching. Or the entrepreneur who quits the corporate world (or is released from it unwillingly) and starts their own consultancy or small business.
Age 61-75: The Golden Retirement Years – This is when most of the career pressures have diminished and people can focus on family, friends, and tennis. They can take the time to relax, read more, and spend leisure time they never had (or took) before.
Age 76-90: The Bonus Years – If we get that far… and can stay healthy and active… these are the ‘extra’ years of life.
This theory gives a new perspective to the aging process: rather than continual decline after age 35, we can look forward to ‘the next stage of our lives.’ It is similar to the feeling senior tournament tennis players get as they reach the top of their five-year age block; and can look forward to being ‘the young guy’ in the next group the following year!
So, brother Bill, you have worked most of the way through your “Golden Retirement Years,” so you better start enjoying yourself!
How ’bout you, are you now enjoying The Golden Years?
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My Book: and if you’d like to get a copy of “Senior Tennis”, just click on the link on the upper right of this web page.