Your perfect day- the start of an outrageous retirement lifestyle

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Are you living your perfect day?

It’s one thing to talk about an outrageous retirement lifestyle. It’s another thing altogether to have one. It isn’t that living full out is hard. The rewards alone more than justify the work it takes. The big problem is that society doesn’t expect or encourage stepping our of the normal patterns. Society doesn’t provide inspiration or encouragement. Older people are treated like cute irrelevancies, amusing at first but then just a drag on your time and attention. Modern society likes tidiness. There is a place for everything and by golly, everything should just stay in it’s place. For seniors, that place is the retirement community, a refuge for old people that keeps them away from the real world and keeps them diverted with mindless activities and spared from the responsibilities of normal life and frees up regular folks to go about their business.

Don’t make waves – or trouble!

Even when seniors resist the call of the retirement community, nobody expects anything from them. Retired people are expected to coast gracefully into their graves with the least possible fuss and muss. Maybe that’s your perfect retirement lifestyle. It’s definitely not mine.

The Perfect Day makes you stretch.

Any decent lifestyle coach asks you to describe your perfect day. It’s a way to get you to establish priorities when you are confused and unfocused. They ask where you want to be and who you want to be spending time with. They want to know what you will be doing. Now maybe your ideal day is watching daytime soaps, and night time TV with some puttering around the house and garden on the breaks. Maybe it’s waiting for a call from your kids or a chance to spend some time with the grand kids. Maybe you are passively waiting for the phone to ring or a knock at the door. Maybe that’s your perfect day but somehow I don’t believe it. You’ve just accepted whatever comes at you not what moves your heart. Who is in control? Is it you or is it something else?

Remember when you believed in yourself?

Once upon a time, we believed that we could have what we want from life. Most people get that beaten our of them along the way but if you never got the lifestyle you wanted before, in retirement you get a second chance. Stop right now and take inventory.

Ask yourself what your perfect retirement day would look like. Maybe you did that exercise earlier but the excitement you felt then slowly faded and you accepted normal. Maybe you never even thought about your perfect day before because you learned you had to take whatever happened as what you deserve. Dream big or dream small about that perfect day. But dream. Get excited and take action. Let the perfect day motivate you to get out of your passive lifestyle and fight for something that fires your up. Break the apathy and inertia of old age with action. Call someone! Volunteer! Join a group! Take your grandchild to a movie. Start with a small unexpected action. But then take it further. Think about that perfect day and what you need to do to make it real. Then get off your ass and live.


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{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Banjo Steve April 18, 2011, 11:34 am

    “Then get off your ass and live.” I love it, Ralph. I have little time for those cranky codgers who moan and groan about “the good old days” while ignoring all the amazing days that can be available today. It’s hard to respect anyone, regardless of age, who spends any real time griping and blaming other people about anything and everything.

    Step one in living the good life is to AVOID TOXIC PEOPLE!

    I’ve always said that retirement is a golden opportunity that you create by focussing on wonderful things to go to, not by focusing on what you are getting away from.

    My hunch is that if you were a positive, can-do kind of person before retirement, then you will continue as so. Conversely, if you were a negative complaining person, then that attitude will also follow you into retirement.

    • Ralph April 19, 2011, 6:19 am

      Banjo Steve,
      Toxic people. There are a lot of them around and sometimes they don’t spew toxicity in gushes, they just drip. Drip or spew, it’s all bad.

  • Hansi April 18, 2011, 1:07 pm

    Ralph..I got of my ass and went back to work. For my former employer; the House of pain. Having recovered from four mind-numbing hours. I woke up after my noon-time nap, and wondered, “What the hell have I done?” The money is good, but I’ve grown accustomed to a leisurely lifestyle, and this working BS sure eats into my free-time. Good thing is, all those dormant skills kicked right back in after two years of sitting in the ‘Trash Bin’ of my mind. Good thing I didn’t empty and delete that folder. I don’t know if this is the perfect day you wrote about, but it’s sure interesting; and definitely worthy of a blog post or two in the future. Well, I’m off to the store. This working thing ate up my whole morning:)
    Hansi’s last Blog Post ..Fun With Spam

  • Ralph April 19, 2011, 6:20 am

    Perfect is whatever you want it to be. You’re the man!

  • Dave Doolin April 19, 2011, 7:23 pm

    “Remember when you believed in yourself?”

    Heh. Barely.

    The thing some of these “New Media Personalities” who preach this “name and claim it” success don’t realize is that after 15,20, 30 or more years, skepticism becomes a survival technique. And a damned important one.

    Sometimes, this includes skepticism in ourselves, and I’m not sure that’s all that bad. At least, not all the time.
    Dave Doolin’s last Blog Post ..WordPress Freelancing – What you’re really paying for

    • Ralph April 20, 2011, 6:16 am

      But if you lose the feeling that you can, then you can’t.

  • Bill Murney April 20, 2011, 1:22 am

    Ralph, my worst nightmare is ending my days in a nursing home, I would rather go early than be a zombie sat all day in a chair.

    I intend to carry on with my lifestyle as long as I physically can and enjoy my perfect day, every day.

    A-U-L, UK

    • Ralph April 20, 2011, 6:17 am

      I don’t doubt you for a moment.

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