As I grew up and work hard, I did so realizing that someday I would retire. And then as the retirement age came and I tried several times to retire, I found myself going back to work. Then due to some health issues I did retire several years ago. I asked myself, what will I do now? Like most seniors I worked hard to get to the point that I could retire from having a job and going to work each day. But then once I was retired I felt guilty about not going to work each day. I began my retirement but taking on small projects and effectively going to work each day. It didn’t take long before I started thinking of other ways to spend my time. While growing up and working hard for many years, I had some preconceived ideas of retirement. Basically it was supposed to be as if I was on vacation. During the years I worked I found ways to work smarter and faster. I carried some of those practices into my retirement. So even though I was working on projects I found myself with more spare time. After several years I realize that there’s a possibility that I could still be active for several more decades. I think many seniors have already reached the goal of retirement have to start thinking about reinventing themselves. It is not unusual to hear about a senior who is taken on another career. Or that senior starts dedicating their time to an issue that is near to the heart, like pet rescue our helping other in battling cancer.
I used to really enjoy going fishing and so I have moved close to several lakes. But I do not find myself going fishing very often. Instead I started off in another path. While I was looking for a company to pave a road leading into my house I ran across an interesting man. I decided to do a little research about that man on the Internet. I found that he was on the board of an organization that encourages tree farms. I went to that organization’s website and found that a state certified tree farm does more than harvest trees. They also encourage landowners to protect the forest for wildlife and recreation. When I read the information I thought that a tree farm was an interesting concept. And then I thought, but I’m from the city, what do I know about trees? As then for some reason I thought of that cruise ship employee. And the words “why not” came into my mind. I had nothing to lose by trying to become a certified tree farmer. Certainly the land qualified as it is all forest. And so I contacted a local forest ranger and began the process to achieve certification. To my amazement I received a certification last year. As my son said, who would’ve ever thought that pops would move out of the city and become a tree farmer?
I also decided to learn how to weld. I have always wanted to learn how to weld but didn’t seem to have the time to learn. Now once again I heard the words, “why not”. And so again I went to the Internet and watch some videos. Soon after I bought a small welder and tried to weld two pieces steel together. I did not do such a good job. I knew that three of my sons had some experience of welding taught to them by their stepfather. So I thought of calling them to teach me how to weld, again I heard the words, ”why not”. And so my son came out and gave me a crash course in welding. He also said the best thing you can do is to practice. So now when I come across a broken piece of machinery I try to weld the back together. Why not, if that doesn’t work then I will take it to a professional.
When I retired I reviewed my car situation, it became apparent to me that I did not need two new vehicles. So I sold my Hummer and kept the Chevy pickup truck. With my wife leaving every couple months to visit her family for a week, I saw the need for me to have a vehicle while she was gone. So I searched the neighborhood and bought an old 1991 Ford pickup truck. It didn’t take long for me to realize there was an oil leak coming from the engine. So initially, I thought of taking the truck to a mechanic and having it fixed. But then again I wondered it with my limited education about fixing it myself. Again I thought, “why not”. My thought was if I tried and failed then I would take it to a mechanic. And so I began to work on the engine. I found the source of the leak, a small hole in the timing chain cover. I found an adhesive that would work on metal and was able to repair the hole. Then when I put everything back together, I change the water pump and then went to change the thermostat. Taking the thermostat out involves removing two bolts while taking out the bolts the head of one of the bolts broke off. I tried several methods to grab ahold of the rusted bolt and force it out. Once that didn’t happen I again thought of taking it to professional. But I heard again a small voice telling me to learn how to take out the bolt, “why not”.
I mention these several situations about trying some new things. Many of us seniors have lived with a planned life and now find that they are searching for new things. Maybe it’s time that we say, “why not”. Some seniors, who had an interesting career, write a book. And many seniors whose life wasn’t so global also think of writing a book. Some seniors decided to move to a nicer climate while others find themselves living with their children. Some seniors dedicate their time to charitable organizations. While others take time to travel around the world or just their country. There is so much to see and it seems that each place has its own interesting history. Some seniors look back to their heritage and find some interesting characters along the way. Some seniors decided to live alone after their significant other has passed away after years of being together. Some seniors decided to find someone and that living alone is not for them and so they find a new significant other. Some seniors decide to start taking some risk like jumping out of a plane or riding a surf board. Some even can afford some new hot rod vehicles, boats. They find the thrill of driving so fast that it makes them feel young again. Many of us have played it fairly safe in our lives. And now that we may have the money and time we look out to those things that we’ve always wanted to do.
My thought is, “why not”. What are we waiting for? As I’ve heard it said there’s no time like the present to get started. I believe that if you survive this long, no matter what you pick you probably won’t go overboard and hurt yourself. You will still use caution and think things out before they happen. But now is the time for you to fulfill your dreams, “why not”.