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Why Stay Busy During Retirement?
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Why Stay Busy During Retirement?

Do you want to stay busy during retirement?

Imagine the scene. You have just retired. You were a very busy executive, manager, shop floor worker, whatever, but as a result you were always on the go. You never had time for those "things" that you always wanted to do. If you were honest you didn't have enough time for the family, immediate and now grandchildren. So you are looking forward to a very peacefull time with little to do, and then this guy comes along and suggest you should want to stay busy during retirement. Is he crazy or what?

What is busy?

There are many definitions of busy. Your partner can be busy with the shopping, or the washing up. You might be busy at work because you have ten meetings today in an eight hour (if you are lucky) day. If you were to look up the dictionary definition one of them would be full of activity or detail. So keeping busy for the retired amongst us is keeping our days full of activity. Two things that make a huge differenece in the senior years is that you have control over the activities and secondly the amount and timing of them Both of these are very different to the work environment.

So why keep busy?

I once spoke to a Consultant Surgeon about this and he said that in his lifetime of work dealing with the more senior people he observed that there are two types of retirees. The first is that one that retires but keeps busy, and as a result seems to live longer. The second type, you've got it, retires, does very little and seems to die earlier. I can hear now the howls of derision from some readers and I cannot back this up with any medical research results, but intuitively it makes sense. It is a known fact we are all living longer. Is keeping busy during retirement a reason for this?

Keeping the spirits up is more to the point

If you go back to the scenario in the first paragraph, and imagine that you do nothing, after being that very busy person, the first few days or weeks may seem fine. It's kind of the vacation spirit isn't it? After a relatively short time however this old friend sets in - boredom. At this stage if you don't take the situation by the collar and deal with it your spirits will fade away. What do we mean by this. Our attitude to life in general and specifically ourselves will become introspective and head down a spiral leading ultimately to a depression state. It is so important to keep busy and keep those spirits up or the observation by that surgeon above may become reality.


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