living bridge

Friday, November 21, 2008


What is the objective of retirement? I am pretty certain that all of you will agree that happiness and a lasting one with contention is the objective. Have we not been seeking to attain this happiness? Of course we did try by amassing wealth, luxuries, name, fame, status in the society. We go all-out to get the admiration by the people, by the society in our effort to attain happiness. Every time we chase to achieve happiness it keeps eluding like a mirage. At certain point we halt and ask our self where is this happiness, why it is not attainable and how to get it.. So the eluding happiness is in our mind. This has taken so many years to realize that. happiness is the state of mind..
Now at retirement age we have realized as what Benjamin Franklin says” HAPPINESS DEPENDS MORE ON THE INWARD DISPOSITION OF MIND RATHER THAN OUTWARD CIRCUMSTANCES.”
During our purposeful life career chasing materialistic wealth we didn’t have the time or inclination for such mental disposition.
After retirement how we go about to tune our mind to attain the bliss of happiness.
When we retire in retirement community it opens up an opportunity to mingle with like minded seniors, remain in solitude, introspect, in ambient environment living in the lap of nature listening to birds chipping, enjoying rejuvenating fresh air.
SOLITUDE: In solitude we are alone. It is not loneliness. In loneliness there is depression with negative frame of mind. whereas in solitude we are alone wherein we are able to silence the outside noise. But there is still inner voice like anger, hatred, ego, jealously, etc.These inner voice also has to be erased to attain happiness..We have to have a positive frame of mind and imbibe certain qualities which are attainable with sincerity and commitment.
1} Limiting our desires rather than attempting to satisfy them . Desire is endless. Desire should be only for the basic needs like food, health, recreation hobbies etc..
I am not sure that I will totally agree with our father.MrA thinks and wants to harm Mr.X,,abuses Mr.X and murders him. No doubt he is happy .his thoughts, words, and deed were in perfect harmony. But his happiness is impure with a sense of guilt. This guilt complex will die only with him. This is not what Mr. A wanted.. Our thoughts,words,and deeds must be focused on compassion and should not be with harmful intention to realize pure bliss and happiness.
2]FORGIVENESS: To an opponent tolerance, to a friend your heart, to your child a good example, and to yourself respect. These will ensure healthy life with high standards of morality, spirituality, and satisfaction. People who forgive experience more energy, better appetite, and better sleep pattern. Life well lived is your best revenge.

3]TOLERANCE: It is sign of strength, makes you empathize with your opponents, control emotions calmly and can disarm your enemies.

4}INTIMACY WITH YOUR FRIENDS: This serves as cushion for a stress free life. maintain friendship as a top, priority with deep relationship and openly discuss your fears, and feelings. Stand by them in good and bad times to win their loyality and sincerity.

5}GOOD EXAMPLE TO YOUR CHILD: Mahatma Gandhi said “ we must be the change we want to see in the world” Child acquires this quality of life from you. These days of hi-tec learning facilities the affectionate link between the parents and the children have gone astray and lost. Grand parents are the best teachers to teach and inculcate good habits ,the value of discipline,recreation,love ,respect ,friendship etc by story telling.
6} HOBBIES: Give vent to your thoughts, open up your mind and take up a hobby of your choice eg: outdoor hobbies like gardening, shuttle, golf, or any game of your choice.
This will ensure happiness and physical activity. Indoor hobbies like chess, scrable is a good way to keep your mind active, alert, and creative with a positive frame. Avoid getting into rust by taking up a hobby as your next milestone in your long journey of life.
7}NOBILITY:It is an individual characteristic learnt through experience and positive thinking accepting others as they are and not trying to change them to our whims and opinion.
8} HUMILITY;By giving advise only when called for,you are safeguarding in others ability, and in the process opening yourself to wonderful learning experience. The secret of giving advise: give advise but don’t insist on following it.
9} INCULCILATING GOOD HABITS: and values in our life help us to become the kind person who will be liked and respected by people whom we meet and touch.
10}FOOD HABITS: Healthy vegetarian food is best choice to keep our mind free from ego and harmful thoughts. Further veg diet is easily digestible Disciplined timely diet should be the rule.
11} PHYSICAL EXERCISE: Outdoor physical exercise help to keep the circulatory,respiratory,excretory system in equilibrium and helps to rejuvenate the mind .It has been stressed again and again that walking is the best form of exercise to keep away from diabetis,cardiac problem. Early morning walking is preferred since the air is relatively free from noise and more importantly air pollution.

Saturday, November 1, 2008



What are the options available after retirement.?
1] CARE TAKER OF THE FAMILY :wherein the retired man /woman takes care of the day to day household work like paying bills, taxes, purchasing daily needs, attending telephone calls, baby sitting, answering front door bells etc.. This type of retirement life is more or less thrust upon them while the youngsters are busy building up their career, name ,image ,focus entirely being towards a monitory oriented .There is hardly any time or intention for relaxed family get-together. .If both the seniors and the children have their own freedom there will be mutual respect with healthy relationship.

2] TAKE UP A SECOND SALARIED CAREER:This type of retired life becomes obligatory when there is no financial support, and the need is to take care of the spouse. One is left with no choice except to live with their children who don’t offer any helping hand. but expect them to take up option [1} i.e. care taker of the family. Under such circumstances retired persons forced to meet his or her medical expenses and daily needs. Hence a retired citizen has to take up a remunerative job to meet the ends in spite of his infirmity.

3]BECOME A MOUSE OR COUCH POTATO:Addiction to T.V. or computer is no doubt time passing but eventually lead to obesity,hypertension,cardiac problem, depression,alzhemier disease. This is certainly contraindicated. This type addiction will no doubt invite physical and mental abuse from children

4] CHOOSE TO LIVE IN A RETIREMNET COMMUNITY:This seems to be the best option when a citizen has [a] saved enough wealth to take care of both husband and wife [b]in reasonable good health [c]insured against medical expenses [d]maintaining a harmonious relationship with children. This will ensure freedom to children to live their chosen way of life and avoid day-to-day friction between in-laws., and avoid contempt breeding In fact this will strengthen the bond and relationship with affection between parents and children when they get-together during family functions or holidaying together with grand children
Living in a retirement community will open up opportunities to explore new avenues to do something different to give vent to your latent hidden thoughts, take up hobbies like gardening, reading, agriculture, bee keeping, recreational activities like golf, shuttle, chess, scrable etc.One will be able to interact with co citizens to go together to temples, pilgrimage centers etc.Life in retirement community with different form of engagement we are free to choose want we want.. This gives a great deal satisfaction and peace of mind. We are free to engage in group activities like social service, helping orphanage children, health care for tribal people etc.. Opportunities to take part in meditation, yoga etc will provide positive emotional energy and help to slow the aging process.. With right attitude this change this life will be a most satisfying period of leisure and contended life. There is sense of freedom with new life rhythm. We will be able to relish the quietness and appreciate of being alone and not wanting to be among the rat race crowd. What seemed important earlier doesn’t seem to be any more.

The most vital aspect of retired life is not only to keep our physical well being but also to keep our mind active, energetic, willimgness to lend our ears to others views, and accept things and people as they are .It is essential for a retired senior citizen to have self belief in his /her ability to handle pain,sorrow,or good news with equilibrium. Day to day learning new words, solving crosswords, puzzles will energize the brain and boost up the immune system. Above all as we age we should accept life as it is, learn to be listener rather than critical, view other opinion as suggestion rather than critical or reprimanding, develop compassion and empathy ,cut down our expectations and demand to the bare minimum. This way we become wiser and age gracefully.