There are events that mark the seasons: when the swallows come back to Capistrano, the buzzards return to Hinckley, Ohio, and, of course, the return of the snowbirds to Vermont.
When the last of their bags have been unpacked, the water turned back on, and the phone re-activated, it can be said with confidence summer is truly here.
Say what you will about us grey heads, we do not just sit idly on porches watching the world go by. Instead, we are zipping around in Mini-Cooper convertibles, roaring by on Harley Davidsons, and sweating past as we pump our speed racer bicycles.
Fitness of mind and body is at least as important in retirement as in youth or midlife. Today’s older Americans keep more active in more ways than their grandparents could have imagined. The old adage, “Use it or lose it”, has now become, “Move it or lose it.”
An aunt of mine discovered adult lifelong learning tours in her early 80’s. These trips abroad are coordinated through a university. Travelers study a place or topic as they sightsee in distant lands. My aunt saw China, Spain, England, and the Middle East.
Not everyone wants to travel, of course. Many retirees are donating their time or working at jobs that always held an attraction, but didn’t fit their career path. My favorite is a retired high school history teacher I know who now works as a teacher’s aid in a kindergarten class.
People in businesses like mine, who work primarily with retirees, know how hard it can be to squeeze in an appointment. Retirees’ schedules are filled weeks ahead, the hours of the day packed with valuable minutes of a life with a purpose. No doubt about it, one of the great joys of getting older is discovering, or rediscovering, the places there are to go and the things there are to do.
Today, aging isn’t so much about staying young; it is about being who you are, when you are. And, of course, when you get back.
Aging in Place, it doesn’t happen by accident.