Trust Me, I’m a Doctor

It is hard to ignore the fact that everybody, well, nearly everybody, has their own ideas as to what we should do in older adulthood, whether it be tilling the soil around our grape hyacynths or travelling the world. Ideas are great, they inspire and enable us to model our dreams upon existing images. What does seem rare, however, is that we hardly ever come up with a whole package of ideas – we just supply one or two and hope that the gaps get filled in eventually. Therefore, most of our ‘life plan’ tends to revolve around just one or two things which, we hope will be fairly static presences in our lives, because we do not like change.
Herein lies a challenge for us. We go through our lives either embracing or fearing change. Enforced change especially is something we tend to view negatively. Yet, if we condition ourslves to accept change, indeed, to make change happen every now and then, then whatever life throws at us will be less likely to have a catastrophic impact.
So, what should we consider doing for the better? The answer lies in accepting that life is not just based upon one set of rules and is wonderous in its unmanageable complexity. Instead of trying to master life and expect to maintain control of it all, we should perhaps prepare outselves and those around us to accept the unexpected, to enjoy the diversity it offers and also to relish the uncertainty that can be prevalent.
Later life is often just the start of another adventure – hopefully one with less tipping of the cap to authority and a few less commitments. It can be a reward for a life well served, as off-spring plough their own fields and that alarm can be set for things YOU want to do.
Notice the plural for ‘things’. It is of paramount significance – because having many things in one’s life to believe in, laugh about, think of and celebrate is one of the keys to a long, varied, and contented existence. There is not one thing that can be presecribed, but many. Call it a ‘porffolio retirement’ if you like.