On the way home from a totally impromptu trip to Whole Foods grocery in Memphis, I accessed my Twitter feed and found an interesting article by Jeff Bullas. He presented ideas on how to get more readers to share your blog.
I’ve been blogging for a while and it’s always good when people share a post. I was interested in the idea that people like to read and share blogs that tell them how to do something. I was feeling healthier from our recent purchases, and other pleasantries of retirement were fresh on my mind so I decided to share some ideas on how to enjoy retirement.
I asked my sweet spouse for some ideas, and his response was less than enthusiastic. “We aren’t really experts. I’d say our retirement is more a work in progress.” And with that he went outside to do battle with the Japanese beetles attacking the Knockout roses.
Unfazed, I jotted down some ideas that turned into seven things not to do when you retire. Read them with the knowledge that, though I am not an expert, I have several years of experience in the area.
- Don’t mistake a day full of options for one of idleness. There’s a big difference.
Psalms 118:24 says, “This is the day that the Lord hath made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it, and as my eighty-eight year old Uncle Fred says, “If I’m breathing and able to be upright then it’s a good day. Focus on the pleasure of sitting by a window during a summer rain, grabbing your Bible and listening for a Word as you drink that second cup of coffee, taking a walk if you’re able, reading a good book, writing down stories you want to share with your grandchildren. Live in the moment and enjoy each day.
2. Don’t bring along debt. Spend your money on doing what pleases you instead.
Romans 13:8 tells us, “Owe nothing to anyone except to love on another, for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.” Dave Ramsey, a financial wiz, encourages people to live like no one else today (while you are working) so you can live like no one else tomorrow(when you retire). He also tells people never to take more than a fifteen-year fixed-rate loan and never have a payment over 25 percent of your take-home pay. In other words, be wise with your money so you can better enjoy your life.
3. Don’t reminisce too much. The old days were great – but not magnificent or you would probably still be working.
Isaiah 43:18-19 reminds us not to live in the past. “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” This is now one of my favorite scriptures because it is so full of hope. This time in life is full of new things that the Lord Himself has planned. Wow.
4. Don’t ruminate. Dwelling on and worrying about past mistakes only gives the devil a playground in your mind and insures unhappiness.
Romans 13:12 is a wonderful reminder that we are new creations in Christ. The old things have passed away and new things are here. A certain amount of wisdom comes with age and it is normal to have some regrets, but constantly replaying past mistakes is not healthy. When tempted to participate in the devil’s mind game, read your Bible instead. You will literally be safe under His wing and near His heart.
5. Don’t over obligate your time. You are in charge of your calendar now.
In Psalms 90:12, Moses prayed, “Teach us to number our days, so that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” I want a heart of wisdom not one full of anxiety. For me, anxiety comes from having too much to do. If the calendar is packed it’s my own fault. Using my heart of wisdom helps me know what’s necessary and pleasing to Him. Those activities are scheduled in, but anything else is optional.
6. Don’t think of yourself as unnecessary. You are marginal by choice, but you are not unnecessary.
In Matthew 11: 28-30, Jesus said come to Him if you’re tired and He will give you rest. He said, “My Yoke is easy and my burden is light.” He knows exactly where we are and will nudge us when we’re needed.
7. Don’t worry that you’ve been forgotten. Even if no one is calling in, you can reach out anytime you want to.
Mark Twain quipped, “The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.” And that idea teams with the Golden Rule in Luke 6:31, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
If you feel lonely, reach out to others. This is a time in life where all you’ve learned in church comes together.
Mother wrote in her journal, “Faith in Jesus means trusting Him to decide what we need and to supply that in His Own way.”
God has been faithful in each stage of my life and retirement is no different. He is doing new things and I’m grateful.