The Collapse of Retirement May Be The Best Thing That Can Happen
Because it may open up undreamed of possibilities for Boomers for personal, professional and financial growth.
This retirement timetable that ruled our parents’ lives (I say “our” because I am a Boomer as well) may no longer apply. We will be free to live longer, happier, healthier and more rewarding lives. There need not be any painful compromises to reach an artificial goal. There need not be a finish line, a race.
Life is Not a Race.
Despite the heavy duty programming we are subject to in the media and by our peers, the only finish line is when we eventually shuck this mortal coil. And even death, if we are to believe in reincarnation, is just a transition and apparently, not even a painful one.
When we give up this artificial goal of retiring as soon as possible, we can change our view of what it means to age. The stereotypes of old age: infirmity, illness, taking pills, living in retirement homes are deeply ingrained in us.
Boomers are certainly starting to fight against it. See the new term invented by Canadian media mogul Moses Znaimer: “Zoomers” or Boomers with Zip.
That’s a positive step. I will suggest another step. Why don’t we start seeing ourselves as growing in skill, in patience, in health and in wisdom all through our lives…right up to when we die.
The new science of “Neuro-Plasticity” is showing us part of this new picture of health in older age. As we saw in Tip # 15 of 108 Tips for More Joy, Energy and Health, researchers are showing us is that, if we continue to learn new skills, we can continue to grow neurons in the brain and can keep the brain vibrant and alive.
Here is one common example. We are programmed to believe in the myth that our memory becomes less acute in older age.
There is little to support the belief that we lose memory as we age.
As an aging boomer, I may walk into a room forgetting why I did so. What did I want in here? Ever had that experience?
Guess What? We all had memory lapses when we were younger. In fact, we have all had memory lapses all through our lives. We thought nothing of it. But because we are programmed to believe in memory loss in older age, we now attribute the current memory challenge as being caused by our age. We have even coined a term for it: “A senior moment.”
We may now become concerned about the potential for it getting worse as we age and perhaps even becoming Alzheimer’s disease.
This concern, if we feed it with enough emotion, can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. “What you focus on grows.” Another way of saying it is “Energy flows where attention goes.”
In other words, feed that thought about memory loss with enough words said often enough out loud or silently with emotion and we help it to become reality.
So, is the answer to retaining a good memory in older age as simple as not believing it and not worrying about it?
The answer may well be YES!
The challenge is to un-do a lifetime of programming we have been subjected to. The devil is in the details. We can refer to Tip # 15 again to see what actions we can take to keep the brain active, what neuroplasticity has to show us.
Also, here is where it can be useful to look at the history of retirement so we can unravel in our logical minds how we came to believe in it and in the other myths of aging. We will do that next time.
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