Wednesday, April 17, 2013

My 3 R's of Retirement


Im no expert on retirement and wellness, but I have learned a few things since hanging up my professor cleats in July 2011.

Whether fully employed or fully retired, keeping an active and balanced lifestyle seems to be the way to go.

Thinking about this with all my extra time has led me to formulate what I call my 3 Rs of retirement. Unlike the stuff I was supposed to write as a professor, my 3 Rs of retirement are not research based. Theyre gut-feeling things, no more and no less.  They just feel right, make sense, and seem to work.

Each one of my 3 Rs is important, and it seems to me that they must be done in some fashion together. 

My 3 Rs of retirement are simple:  Read, wRite, Run.

As I will attempt to explain below, they should be interpreted in the broadest possible context.

Read: Expand your horizons by enjoying the creative output of others. This doesnt have to be reading per se. It could also be watching and appreciating movies, plays, or concerts. It could be listening to and appreciating music of all kinds. It could be learning through travel and first-hand observation.

wRite:  Develop a creative output of your own. Do something creative that you enjoy and keep working on it. It could be writing but doesnt have to be. It might be learning a musical instrument, sewing, painting, woodworking, or anything that draws on your creative juices and challenges your mind. You dont have to market your creative output for it to be successful. You dont even have to be good at it as long as you enjoy the challenge of improving.

Run: Keep moving. You can run, walk, do the treadmill or exercise bike, or whatever. But you must work up a sweat on a regular basis.

I have implemented the 3 Rs by reading fiction (something I never had time to do while working), writing and self-publishing stories that draw on my career experiences, and getting in a solid power walk almost every day through the great college town of Clemson, SC.  

As I said, Im no expert on wellness and retirement. But I think Im onto something.


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