How is your life coming along

Jimmie Batchelor

Guest Columnist

The most frequent question asked of a future retiree is, “So, what will you do when you retire?” My usual answer was, “Have as much fun as I can and still be legal!”

After a very busy month has passed since my retirement, I’ve come to my senses and asked myself, “What do you really want to do now that you are retired?” I answered myself, “Live life fully in the present moment, one day at a time.”

I have always believed in this and tried my best, but it’s very hard to do, isn’t it? The past is always sneaking up on us and the future is always jumping into our path. Living with mindfulness is what I believe they call it these days. Keeping your mind in the present. It is human nature for our minds to wander helter skelter, so yes, it is hard to do.

Part of our problem is, during our working years, we fall into patterns of schedules we have little control over. One day runs into 2-3-4 days. Sound familiar? Some of you are still there. We think that one day we will get off the hamster wheel and follow our dreams, we’ll be over that rainbow.

You may have read one of my favorite pieces written by Robert J. Hastings, “The Station.” His message was to ‘relish the moment’ instead of waiting for the station, where all we’ve worked for and dreamed of will be waiting for us. Our hopes and dreams are the stations and in life, when we reach each station, it melts in with those in the past and we face more stations in the distance. We should all eliminate the term, “one day” from our vocabulary. One day is actually now, today. Remember, none of us is guaranteed a tomorrow!

So much of how our lives play out is determined by our thoughts. I’ve written before about having a positive attitude. We cannot control outside forces and what others bring to our table, but we certainly have control over our attitude toward them.

The present belongs to each of us, it is our earthly gift. What we do with it largely depends on living today and deciding how we want our day to go whether it is filled with obligations to others or not, we need to approach it with our best attitude. Not always easy, I do know! But don’t lose your day because of other people or circumstances. Do not allow that to happen.

Treasure each day you are given and remember to slow down. You have your work, duties to perform, but always take a little personal time here and there for yourself. Just for YOU. You choose how you think of your day. It starts and ends there, with you. Put some enjoyment on your to-do list.

One good thing I have already learned about retirement is that if I tire of something, all I need do is just stop what I’m doing and go on to something better. Switching from routine does wonders for the soul.

I don’t know about you, but I hope to have a long list of ‘yet to be accomplished’ when I draw my last breath!

A thought to remember: quality of life and standard of living do not have the same meaning.

Try thinking of each day as a fresh start. It is. Now, get out there and LIVE life.

Jimmie has lived in Stockbridge for 38 years, raising three children and many pets. She has one grandson living in New York. She has been with Henry County Senior Services at Hidden Valley Senior Center for 11 years and loves to write, especially for The HC Times!