Understanding and Enjoying Retirement

Maximizing the pleasure of being retired series

By Armando F Sanchez
Published on LatinoLA: November 9, 2014

Understanding and Enjoying Retirement

I enjoy making presentations to large groups on how to plan and enjoy one's retirement.

Here is one important point I want to share with those planning to or just joined the retirement group.

First item is to understand that each of us has a choice of how to view our retirement. Some may see it as being thrown out of doing productive work and others are thrilled to stop working altogether. Yet, the majority of persons on either side still ask me, "What am I going to do once I retire?"

I share in my presentations the following idea to explain my point and help others reach an answer.

Think back to your elementary school years. Do you remember your recess time?

Recess was an important part of the learning school day. You met with friends, you got caught up on some campus gossip and then you went on to play! For those few minutes of the day, your only thoughts were of hitting the ball harder and farther. You enjoyed shooting a few hoops. You chased each other around and by the time the bell rang to go back to class you were drenched in sweat (let me offer the word "perspiration" in order to be grammatically correct). Either way, you were soaking wet and couldn't drink enough water from the fountain that everyone used! Now that I think about it, I don't recall ever seeing the janitors cleaning the faucets. Ah, the good old days.

So what does this story have to do with retirement?

Well, I offer the idea that one should think of retirement as recess time without any bells. The big difference during retirement is that there will not be any bell ringing that would remind and in a subtle way command us that we have to go back into the classroom and return to our working.

I strongly recommend that one thinks of retirement as your personal non-stop play time!

Having reached a certain age now allows you to retire and it also means that you now have new options and ways of playing.

Go and play with your friends. Plan to play golf, cards, dominoes or tennis. You have the option to get together with others and gossip and talk about politics and your local lousy sports team.

Also feel free to take out a blank piece of paper and draw or write whatever you want. Don't worry, you won't have to run into teachers any longer that carry around a pack of red pens and will mark up your masterpiece. Write and draw as much as you want. Let your creative ideas flow through you and don't worry, no one is going to grade your work any longer. You get to evaluate your activities based on how you feel about it. You always wanted to sing out loud but your voice is terrible? Go join a karaoke group and sing your heart out. Don't worry about your singing. Most people who attend can't sing either, but they feel wonderful doing it and that is what is important.

Let's talk a little about your new playground. You are no longer limited to the small playground on campus. Now you can make anywhere in the world your personal playground.

Today you want to play over here and tomorrow you want to go play on the other side of town. My response to you is, "Go for it!"

You may still remember when you were a kid how you used to go into your favorite playground sandbox and you loved pouring sand all over yourself. Let's get past the fact that you also wanted to put sand on the heads of others and that didn't go well. Anyway, now you can go to your local beach and pour sand on yourself until your almost buried in it. Go ahead, do it. Go play! You earned it.

Sadly, many of us have forgotten over the years how to play and have fun.

If this is the case, I have some good news for you.

As a retiree, you now have the valuable time to find out and rediscover your favorite games (other than going around, like you use to, pulling the girl's ponytails and then running off! Bad boy! Bad boy!).

I want to briefly point out about what may keep you from discovering new games to play with and have fun with them. Be aware of it and work as hard as you can to get past it.

The issue I am talking about is the feeling of embarrassment. One must learn to do things in spite of thinking of being embarrassed.

Let's be clear that each time you try something new, you may feel awkward and uncomfortable. This is a normal feeling for many of us when exploring a new activity. Don't let the thought of feeling embarrassed stop you from doing it!

Perhaps the sense of feeling embarrassed has stopped you for years from learning to play many new games. Again, don't let it stop you any longer!

Perhaps you always felt embarrassed to learn how to ride a two wheel bike and thus you never learned how to ride one? What the heck, now is your time and opportunity to learn how to ride one.

You considered doing some zip-line activity is some remote place? My recommendation is, "Go for it!"

You would like to learn to get out on the dance floor and dance up a storm? Well then, read this article quickly and then go out and play with others as you learn how. I am currently having trouble dancing the Foxtrot but I finally got the basic tango under my belt. Now I have to make sure I don't get them mixed up and then try to dance both at the same time.

You are retired so now go out and play. Go play and then play some more.

If the game you like is not played nearby, then by all means go somewhere where it is played and participate.

Can't find anyone to play with near you, then you start a group nearby and teach them to play your favorite game.

Think of retirement as recess and that darn bell to return to your room won't be ringing anymore.

Think about it. No more dirty looks from teachers or supervisors when you are playing instead of doing you work.

Sorry, I can't write any more today. My friends just came for me and we are off to play AGAIN!

About Armando F Sanchez:
Armando F Sanchez is a motivational speaker, author, retired educator, traveler and CEO of Armando F Sanchez Production. His organization produces global new media programming
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