FIX THE DISHWASHER Go to: www.SeniorARK.com
My Mother lived for nearly 94 years. One day around her 90th year she said something like, "If I had known I would live this long, I would have fixed the dishwasher." It had quit doing something or other several years earlier, and there it sat quietly biding time. She thought it foolish to repair her dishwasher in her mid 80's. After all, both of her parents had died in their upper 40's, and she had nearly doubled that. So why waste the money. Ha! We bought her a new dishwasher that year.
Have you stopped repairing things in your life? What have you become "too old to do?" What have you quit doing because discouragement has set in? We do often develop physical or mental conditions that limit or slow down our abilities. I notice heavier breathing when I go up the stairs, and arthritis has found joints I didn't know I had. And sometimes I feel a little put off by it. Perhaps we can no longer jog, but we can walk. Or if the knees hurt too badly to walk, we can swim.
Last week I turned sixty five. I am surprised that sixty five doesn't seem as old as I once saw it. But it is a milestone for many of us. It is a time to assess who we are and what we intend to do with our lives now that we have reached what our nation has established as the "retirement age". But statisticians tell us that a 65 year old male in America today can expect to live at least another 18.4 years. A female gets a bonus. The average 65-year-old woman today can expect to live another 19.8 years or a total of 84.8 years. If she makes it to 75, she can expect an additional 12.6 years or a total of 87.6 years. Men don't do quite as well, but the difference shrinks as they age. A 75-year-old man can expect, on average, another 10.5 years or 85.5 years total. Remember, these are averages -- you can beat them by eating right, staying active, staying involved and exercising your brain. Develop the mindset that you will always repair the dishwasher.
This Christian believes that each of us was put here with a purpose. Some of us were trapped in jobs for decades that hardly reflected our talents or true abilities. Retirement may well be a time to discover, or rediscover talents that have long lain dormant. Without the unique demands of children and jobs, it may be time to investigate hobbies, service, computers, new education, or even a whole new career. Check out Missions for Retired and Second Career Christians. Think back to the things you wish you could have done. Now may be the day to begin them. Or perhaps you want to hone your skills in your former profession, and then go at with a slightly different focus.
At age 82, Joe Paterno is coaching his 59th season at Penn State as an assistant or head coach, holding the record for any football coach at any university. He has coached over 500 games. He regularly fixes the dishwasher, and continues to develop character in the young men he mentors.
My neighbor is in her mid 80's, and a retired high school math teacher. Her answer to all questions of health are "I have no complaints." Last year Dolores lost her beloved poodle of 16 years. She immediately got another. When she isn't going to the senior center for tai chi, she is having lunch with a circle of women friends. Occasionally she slips out to nursing homes to help less ambulatory friends with simple needs. She has been known to help some of them with filling out income tax forms. When our granddaughter came to live with us this summer, Dolores introduced her to the public library, and counseled with her about books and school. No broken dishwashers in that house.
If you have developed a faith in God along the way, or if you would like to, then ask God what you need to be doing. And ask friends, and ask family, and even ask your former boss if you had one. And get into your computer and poke around. Go to photography sites, service sites, sites for your faith. Think of the things "you wish somebody would do", and then give it a shot. Know it or not, you have become a wise man or woman through experience. There is much you can do, and now have the time to do it.
You are too valuable a child of God to sit around idly like the broken dishwasher. Go for it!
I NEED THEE EVERY HOUR
Words: Annie S. Hawks, 1872. Music: Robert Lowry
Thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
I need Thee,
O I need Thee;
Thee every hour, stay Thou nearby;
Thee every hour, in joy or pain;
Thee every hour; teach me Thy will;
Thee every hour, most Holy One;
Prayer. O God our loving Father, we need you every hour of our lives, and especially now as we weigh our challenges in retirement. We place our hopeful hand in yours, and wait for your direction. Infuse our every day with hope and joy through what we do. Amen