RETIREMENT 2: Taking Care of One’s Self

RETIREMENT 2:  Taking Care of One’s Self

FROM: Steve

In my last blog I told you the story of my Dad and his dreams of retirement—what “retirement” meant to his generation.  But let me tell you the rest of the story. 

For years my Dad relished the thought of his retirement.  But unfortunately he did not take care of himself very well.  He did a lot of hard workin’ along the way, but he did a lot of hard drinkin’, smokin’ and eatin’ too with large amounts of sedentary TV watching in between.  I remember during his 65th year he was counting down the days left until his birthday—his retirement day!  And then the big day came.  He said good-by to his friends and returned home from work for the last time.  Ten days later he suffered a stroke and died.

To say the least my Dad was not prepared for retirement.  I don’t begrudge him his dreams of a “life of leisure” but the changes caught him unaware.  Two hundred and fifty years ago the Greek historian, Herodotus, warned us that “Illness strikes men when they are exposed to change.”  The “change” of retirement struck my Dad like a Mack truck! 

So now, I am 63 and am looking forward to living longer than my father.  I actually have been preparing for many years.  What am I doing to avoid the tragedy that he suffered? 

  1.  As I mentioned in the previous blog (Retirement 1: To retire or NOT to retire, that is the question?) I don’t intend to “retire.”  I am only 63 and I intend to “Live and full, happy, healthy life until I’m 100.”  I intend to keep busy everyday with fun, fulfilling, and mentally challenging activities.
  2. I intend to be physically active and fit (see my blog 3 Steps to Fitness!).
  3. I intend to eat a heathy, well-balanced diet every day.  I recommend any of these three eating plans (find them on the internet): 1. The Mediterranean Diet; 2. The DASH Diet; or 3. The Zone Diet.   
  4. I intend to deal with daily stress by practicing periods of Conscious Breathing and the Relaxation Response (Meditation).  See previous blogs Take a Deep Breath and Take a Deep Breath 2.
  5. I intend to continue cultivating happy, healthy Conscious Relationships with my wife, Suzanne, and all those around me.  See previous blog Take Charge of Your Relationship in Six Co-Commitments.

So these are some of the activities that you can do to take care of yourself and make the rest of your life the best of your life!

Suzanne Kilkus, PhD

Suzanne Kilkus, PhD believes that being open to learning defines the ease of our lives. And that our capacity for giving and receiving love defines the depth of our lives. She delights in assisting couples and individuals in creating greater ease and more love in their lives and relationships. She lives, laughs and loves with her husband, Steve, in Madison, WI and can be reached at