Have you thought of making your old age interesting? Or you are someone who has an image of giving constant unsought advice? Do children run away from you and grown ups avoid talking to you? How often do you feel life has come to its fag end? Do you spam your family and loved ones with forward messages (mostly unverified) and religious preaching? Do you do fear mongering, emotional blackmail or play the bechara card to earn some attention? Let me tell you, these are the signs of old age growing onto you. Its time you shed this image and lifestyle and do something better.
Growing old is inevitable but it need not become frustrating for you and others around you. They say age gracefully, it is not meant only visually but also mentally and physiologically. It is not necessary to irritate people around you just because you are retired and bored of yourself; your old age does not give you this license.
According to Psychologist Dr. Erik Erikson, the last stage of psycho-social development, old age has the task where we go through generativity vs despair. Briefly put, it means that people at this age will review their life and see whether they have done most of the things they wanted to do or not. Further, they will channelize their energy to give back to the community in order to maintain some sense of continuation. Based on this and other research, here are 12 things which you can do to make your old age interesting.
1. The Things Never Done Before
Sadhguru says, a simple act like getting up and folding your own bedsheet helps set the tone of the day. Have you folded your bedsheet, your own clothes, changed linen or arranged your clothes rack on your own? Try doing it. It will set in the new sense of independence. As a woman, have you done the drill of handling the carpenter, painter, plumber or somebody else? Have you fixed a puncture ever? Do you know how to fill a deposit slip or cross a cheque? Have you ever visited a bank branch on your own to withdraw money? Do things which are never done before. Yes it sets a new sense of independence.
2. Have an active social life with people of all ages
When you are active socially (not by spamming on whatsapp groups) but literally, you have to work on grooming yourself and updating your knowledge and skills so that you can have interesting conversations. Many old people become speakers, theatre persons, consultants or they work as volunteers where experiential knowledge is required. This ensures that you do not gather dust and feel vibrant.
3. Learn to Cook/Earn Money
The generation which is aging right now belongs to the one where women were supposed to cook and run the house while the men were supposed to earn money. In the barter, women missed out on learning the art of earning money and men missed out on learning how to cook. As much as you want to deny, both are surviving skills. God forbid, if you lose your better half or end up living alone, not knowing cooking or how to earn & manage finances; it is going to pinch in big way. Why not make your old age interesting by learning this art?
4. Reinvent the Food Palate
The diet of your youth must have totally got replaced by now. Half of the things that you enjoyed eating must have got restricted now and the other half, you must be voluntarily avoiding. But in the age of internet, plethora of new dishes and recipes are available online which will agree with your current diet and nutrition plan. Spend time to reinvent your food palate. It will bring in a new sense of joy and contentment.
5. Financial Knowledge & Wisdom
If you are someone who thinks that gold and real estate are the best things one can invest in, then you need a reality check. Today’s financial world has evolved a lot with time and you should utilize your time to learn about the new financial products. Indian financial market is quite simple, when you are done with Indian investment products and become a master; invest the time to learn about the Chinese, Singaporean and Middle Eastern Investment products. Then progress to UK, US and other markets. You need to afterall stand out and shine in your geriatric circle!
6. Buy a Pet
Yes, a pet combines many things together to make your old age interesting. It will become an avenue to vent out all your unrequited love. For its well being, you will be physically active – Be it giving it a bath, taking it for a walk, occasional vet visits or the usual grooming, it will surely keep you going. To keep the pet entertained, you will read about many things that helps on the matter. Pet will be your all time companion. Lastly, a pet will protect you from illness since it can sense it way in advance.
7. Religious Knowledge To Make Old Age Interesting
Do you know about Scientology? Are you aware of all the avatars of Gautam Buddha? Do you know about Zam Zam well? Have you heard of the Wailing Wall? Do you know the different divisions in Christianity? In old age while one may delve deep into the religion that one has been practising all life, but there are many aspects of other religions which are informational and good to know. It keeps the curiosity juices flowing. Find out about them. It doesn’t harm you or send you to hell in the after life.
8. A call a week to a loved one
Somehow in old age people forget that they are not the only ones who are suffering – be it from boredom, health issues or something else. There is an entire family & legacy living behind who may be struggling with their day to day issues and need someone to just hear them out. They may not be looking for solutions, just a passionate & empathetic listening. If you surround yourself with your own issues, all the time, how is your sibling, spouse, child, daughter in law or any other family member going to approach you with what may be bothering them?
Reach out to all family members, loved ones, near and dear ones, one at a time and at regular intervals to check on them. Each time you connect, start from where you left and soon they will open up to you. Family is supposed to be by each others side, its a 2 way process. Begin now, it is a very good way to bring some gravitas in life and make your old age interesting.
9. Movies, Series & Fun
There is such good & rich content available on OTT platforms. Be it movies, reality shows, web series, stand up comedy, wellness videos, cartoons or the favourite NEWS :). We are in the best age and time as far as entertainment industry is concerned. Long gone are the days when you had to wait for a week before you could see the next episode of your favourite show. It is the time and age of binge watching your favourite shows. Have you heard about Netflix and chill? 🙂 Go for it.
10. Mobile Games
Why not spend an hour solving puzzles, crosswords, saving the world from alien attacks, crushing some candies, matching colour rings or racing some cars? It is so consuming and addictive that you will lose hang of time. Try it to believe it.
11. Solo Travel… Back pack? Even Better!
If you are hale and hearty, fit and fine and rich enough, why not pack your bags and explore the world. It is such a beautiful place. Different food, cultures, natural beauty, economic progress, development and advancement in technology may leave you stoked! You can come back and may have a very interesting story to tell.
12. Develop the Happy Habits
If you grew up without reading books, without grooving to music, without playing some kind of sport or without developing a knack for stitching/painting/sketching/playing an instrument etc. then its fine… nothing is lost, now is the time to pick up one of it and start from the beginning. When you excel in it, share it with everyone captioning the same as “New Beginnings” & #old age interesting😊👍🏻
In conclusion, old age is the time when hobbies take up 90% of your time and work takes 10%. Yes this is the post retirement equation. Make the best of your time and don’t lose hope – there are studies that show that people are happier at 85 than they were at 18! You just need to take the steps to make that happen.
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