Thursday, January 7, 2010
Growing old gracefully
It was indeed sad to hear stories about some of our mutual friends who in their retirement years are being reclusive.
There is a case of a lady who was friendly and sociable during her working life. She was lively and shared her experiences of her hometown, cooking tips, health secrets, hobbies and common ladies' issues. But she has now become unsociable and is a recluse. Even her immeditae neighbours have no inkling of her what is happening in her house or what has become of her.
Another sad tale is about a lady of leisure who has been the life wire in her social circles- a typical "tai-tai" who enjoyed life, shopping, travelling overseas and just being "happy" and even with maids at her back and call. But she is now a recluse- shunning friends, being pessismistic and a hypochondraic.
These two examples triggered some discusssion when we (the retirees of TMGS) met yesterday. Some critical issues include: What does retirement mean? How best should our golden years be spent? What are some of activities we can be involved in?
The general opinion is that we are responsible for our own happiness. It is up to the individual to take action and get involved in activities that are going on or are invited to participate. Action also includes involvement in meaningful hobbies and even helping out in activities of NGOs or religion based groups. But the important consideration is to have a balance of activities that are, personal hobbies such as gardening, knotting, watching TV, etc as well as those that get us out of the house and interacting with other people.
In this respect, the monthly lunch gatherings of the informal retirees' club of TMGS is a event that many of us look forward to. Meeting up with former collegues to exchange gossips, having a good harmless laugh and sharing health complaints is very uplifting. At least we can let our hair down, release tension and have a good meal once a month. So hurray for this smart idea which was mooted more than two years ago!!1