Which bridge are you about to cross?

Some bridges create fear, but fear of what?

No matter what your current age you will have bridges to cross. Just getting to the age you are now you will have crossed many already. The difference it seems to be as you get older some of the new bridges bring fear and some pain.

 

Some bridges can be scary.

These can be overcome if you know you approaching them, they are more difficult when they just suddenly appear.

Fear is something that grows within you.  Sure you may always have been afraid of the dark but, that fear doesn’t appear until it is dark. You are not afraid of it in the day time, you were not afraid of it yesterday in the bright sunlight. No, you became afraid when that sunlight turned to night. Many people that are afraid of the dark won’t have the same fear on a starlit night.

The most common fear is fear of the unknown Click To Tweet and for some reason, that fear increases as you age.

The most common Fear is of the unknown and for some reason, that fear increases as you age.

So the question is what can you do about it?  Well, you can start with identifying some of your fears and creating a list of them.

 

They of which can be as simple as
asking a stranger a question;
making small talk with a social gathering;
or driving to an unfamiliar location

 

Next look at that list and prioritize them 0 being the least fearful or least anxious for you and 10 being the most fearful.

The fear list

Then starting with the situation that causes the least anxiety determine how you can face that fear head on, in your own way and at your own chosen time.  Let’s say making small talk has you a little anxious, and you have a social gathering coming up.

If you are aware of the purpose of the gather perhaps you could find one or two topics related to it that you find interesting.  Next, you can make a list of things you could ask about on those topics.  Then just before the gathering review the list so that they are fresh in your mind.  Then when you meet someone you can ask one of those questions.   By doing this you take control of not only your fears but also the situation. Most people are happy to answer (nonpersonal) questions on topics of interest.  Even if they don’t know the answer the question will ‘break the ice’ as they say and open up some type of dialogue.  By doing this you then don’t have to be fearful of someone engaging you and being fearful of how to respond.

Using the same process work through the rest of your concerns and develop your way own way of crossing that bridge when it comes.

Are you afraid of retirement? Maybe you should be,

because what are you going to do with possibly 25 or 30 years of nonworking life left to live.   How will you spend your days, evenings and weekend when every is a HOLIDAY?

So what are you going to do? What will get you up in the morning? Click To Tweet

 

Life and living are not mutually exclusive, both require your interaction.

Having that much time on your hands means there are no real holidays.  What are long weekends, who needs them?  Not you!

Sure there will be important dates to look forward to, but unless you have a huge family, filled with relatives, your own kids, lots of grandkids or even great grandkids, you are pretty much on your own.  Yes there are provincial, state, and federal holidays observed as well religious holidays, but these no longer have the significance they had while you were working.  You were just happy to have the day off, the good news is that now you can appreciate them for their true meaning.  That being said even the 30+ holidays in some places are going to leave you with a lot of time to fill.

Too much time, too little to do to fill it?

So what are you going to do?  What will get you up in the morning?  What will keep you engaged until it is time to go to bed at night?  Television doesn’t even offer as much relief as it did when we younger.  Just how many reruns of the day or night time drama or comedy programs can you really watch?  Unless of course, it is these reruns are you sleeping aids.

Do you remember that Fleetwood Mac’s song – don’t stop thinking about tomorrow, it’ll soon be here?  Well, that can be a good thought or a bad one depending up what you have planned for tomorrow.  The message was that it will better than tomorrow.

If this is a concern for you, then there is GREAT news ahead.  I know it was a huge concern for me and I saw it in action as I watch my sister and my brother lose hope and interest in life.  They both died in their 70s.   Why, what happened,  you might ask? And while my sister (78) died of cancer it was one of the most treatable types, my brother died for no apparent reason   He was seen at breakfast in the lodge and was said to be looking just fine, but missed lunch and someone found him later in his room, dead at 76.  Why did they die so young when our grandmother lived until she was 101, and our mother until she was 93?  My point is I believe neither had to die so young and yes today dying in your 70s is dying young.  But I think I have the answer to that question, too late for them but not for you or even me.

But the answer for that will come in another post along with some more rationale as to why – don’t stop thinking about tomorrow, it’ll soon be here  – is a good thing.  Tomorrow can be better!

The Conversation will occur, why not start it

Where do you want to spend your retirement? How do you want to spend your retirement?

When we wait too long to tell our family what our plans are, often they are the ones doing the… Click To Tweet

Whether you are 50, 60 and yes possibly even  70 and still working, the subject of retirement has probably come up. If you are already retired then the topic of what you are going to do as you get older will dominate.  Regardless of which it is this conversation is one that really needs to happen. But it is a  conversation that will go better if you are the one to start it.

The best time of times happen when planned.

When I wrote the book about
helping aging parents I really wasn’t thinking of myself or my own need to have the conversation. I would guess that most of you also don’t believe that the conversation is needed at this moment. Well, I think we are both wrong. The conversation will be needed, and for my part, I would rather be the instigator than feeling I am be conspired against. I also think that the older we get the more we are likely to feel the latter.

When we wait too long to tell our family what our plans are, often they are the ones doing the planning.   We recently put our big house in the country up for sale, knowing it would take some time to sell.  In doing so we didn’t really discuss what our plan would be, especially with our granddaughter.  So the other day when she called she asked when we were moving and she wanted to give her thoughts on where we should move to.  I told her it would not be for some time as we didn’t think it would be for quite awhile.  Her solution was simple, she had it all planned.  We should just abandon the house, take some of the things we really wanted and move into her parent’s basement.  We could stay there until we were old enough, say 90, and then move into the old peoples lodge down the road from her.  Did I mention she’s 12?   I realized then that our plan to sell our house was just one step and that a more thought out plan needed to be determined and shared.  It was the lack of sharing a plan that seemed to be the cause of her making a plan for us.

So whether or not this is the type of conversation that occurs you will need to make plans for your future.

For many making plans could be a simple as moving from a remote area to one with more amenities.  For others, it is moving closer to family, as seemed to be our granddaughter’s plan for us.  I know of some whose plans are to move to another country where the cost of living is cheaper.  And although you may not be making plans to put up roots and plant them somewhere else, I’m pretty sure that if you start the conversation, someone is sure to chime in.  While planning is one thing actually creating a plan is yet another.  Plans of this nature become even more challenging the older you get.  Plans to move to another country when you are in your 50s look a lot different than when you are in your 60s.  Now consider what that might look like when you are in your 70’s?   It is not too far-fetched for someone that age to get up and move.  Why?  Because so many people now in their 70’s have just as much get up go as they had in their 60’s.  Remember we are living longer, healthier and have the mindset of age is a just number.  A number that we are no longer letting define us.  But it would be fool hardy to make any significant move with out a well thought out plan.  In doing so the conversation will be quite a different one.

While planning is one thing actually creating a plan is yet another.  Plans of this nature become even more challenging the older you get.  Plans to move to another country when you are in your 50s look a lot different than when you are in your 60s.  Now consider what that might look like when you are in your 70’s?   It is not too far-fetched for someone that age to get up and move.  Why?  Because so many people now in their 70’s have just as much get up go as they had in their 60’s.  Remember we are living longer, healthier and have the mindset of age is a just number.  A number that we are no longer letting define us.  But it would be fool hardy to make any significant move with out a well thought out plan.  In doing so the conversation will be quite a different one.

When we have done so, even if not everyone agrees, we can say, here is our plan.  Now let’s get this discussion over with so we can get on with taking the next step in our plan to live life on our own terms.