There used to be the old adage that when someone retired, the man would either be henpecked to death at home (remember Richard begging his boss to let him stay, rather than go spend all day with Hyacinth in Keeping Up Appearances?) Or there’s the common story of a man who works all his life, then has a cardiac arrest while mowing the lawn, because he’s not used to slowing down.
In fact, retirement can be a good thing! If you’re 60 or 65, it’s not really that old by today’s standards. You could have another 30 or 40 years ahead of you! So take that time (at least you get a state pension if nothing else, you can also switch to an ethical pension so your funds are being invested wisely). Slow down, take nature walks, make nice new friends, travel, become a volunteer dog walker, read books, listen to music, go dancing, and learn to cook!
Retirement Rebel is the story of Siobhan Daniels, who made the decision to step off the merry-go-round of life and enjoy her own slow journey, and live on her own terms. She sold up, packed up and hit the road with no real plan on a positive-ageing adventure, knowing that retirement could be the start of life, rather than the end of it. With no shortgage of mishaps along the way (she began just before being ordered to stay at home during the pandemic lockdown), her story can inspire us all to make simple lifestyle changes to feel happier.
be happy that you’re getting older!
The Swedish Art of Ageing Well offers life wisdom, from someone who will likely die before you do! This is a guide to a life well-lived, the wonder of the everyday and the lessons that age brings. Wear stripes, eat cake and don’t leave empty-handed. Also embrace change, let go of what doesn’t matter and take care of someone or something, other than yourself. There are always fresh discoveries in this gentle and welcome reminder to getting older. Author Margareta Magnusson was born in Gothenberg in Sweden, somewhere between 80 and 100 years ago! She worked for many years as an artist and also wrote Döstädning: The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning (an encouragement to get rid of all your unwanted junk before you die, so your relatives don’t have all the emotional stress and turmoil of having to go through mountains of stuff when you’re gone).
have those important (uncomfortable) conversations
The Book About Getting Older is a funny and kind book recommended by Sandi Toksvig, about living the second half of your life better than the first. Dr Lucy covers questions that people don’t like to ask like if it’s worth taking 7 different medicines, should you still be driving, what are the secrets of the best care homes (if you have no choice) and what happens when your loved one gets dementia? And how do you navigate near-impossible discussions around do-not-resuscitate orders etc?