Minding my own fullness
My retirement from the academe on December 31, 2012 at age 63 can be likened to an unending teleserye like ‘FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano.’
I have always valued getting in touch with people from all walks of life. I have continuously shared inspiring insights and at the same time, learning from others has been truly rewarding. Everyday, I receive messages from people who lifted my spirit. The feeling of being valued has made me realize my worth and thought of pursuing with my mission. I have considered the second calling and unexpectedly, things have been going on smoothly, despite some flaws and imperfections.
I have learned more on the value of time. I see to it that I don’t miss enjoying the best part of my retirement. I simply want to enjoy what I am doing. It’s ‘me’ time and I really enjoy being alone, away from the madding crowd. I thank the new technology because there is never a dull moment being alone. I connect with friends through social media. I google a lot, learn new things, organize them, and share them with my friends who may lack time to read. There is really more to learn after retirement. I own my time and I have become my own ‘boss.’
Frankly, I had second thoughts when this group of young men invited me to write a column for a newly-established local newspaper, The Palawan Daily News. I was honest in telling them that I don’t like to be stressed, especially in beating with deadlines. I know the nature of the job because I’d been through it when I was still in active service. I write articles for my family and friends to read and enjoy. I write when I feel like doing it. It seems this group of millennials don’t easily take ‘no’ for an answer. It has been a month now and all the while, I thought they finally gave up. I was wrong. Their persistence is truly impressive, and so here I am with this first article. I honestly consider this new task as another challenging mental stimulation to continuously keep my sanity. At 69, I’m elated to know that I’m still valued as an educator. I feel great because my articles and blogs are appreciated, not only by baby boomers and gen x , but also by millennials.
I told the editor-in-chief that I work better under pressure. I am aware that it really triggers stress, but it has positive results. I referred four titles to him for his comment/ suggestion. My choice is his choice, too. I can relate with the title and I know that I can, too with my readers.
Healthy Mind, what does this column offer its readers? It’s about finding ways to build happiness and positive emotions into our life. Having a healthy mind is a timely and relevant reminder, considering that low self-esteem, self-confidence and self-worth are common problems of our society today.
Life is not always a bed of roses. It is a series of encounter. Problems come our way every day and we can’t just do away with them. We have to face our problems squarely as they come and we eventually learn in the process if we learn how to deal with them positively.
I am retired, but not tired. My favorite author on retirement, Grace Chong said that one of the misconceptions about retirees is that they are old – with salt and pepper hair; furrowed eyebrows; leathery skin; measured gaits; poised; and so on. Don’t we spend every day getting older? I was co-author of a book, “Pagkakaedad Na Di Kalidad,” published in 2007, in preparation for our retirement from government service. We underscored the importance of ageing gracefully thru positive thinking. We sold around 2,000 copies . We look forward to write a second edition of the book in the near future.
Let me share with you the things that I have continuously done to maintain a healthy mind. I read a lot and learn new things more often. I buy good books, research a lot and take down important notes. I write articles and blogs, incorporate new learning and share them with friend through social media. As I said, I love connecting with friends, former students, former colleagues and relatives from different parts of the world, now that I have more time to do things which I was not used to doing in the past because of my busy schedules. I also learned the power of meditation. Spending precious time for meditation is spiritually uplifting. It nourishes the mind and clears it with trash that triggers stress. The journals my seminarian students reveal their personal reflections of Biblical verses of their choice. I learned inspiring insights on spirituality from seminarians and priest formators. There are times when I share my reflections on the Gospel for the day on Facebook. The more inspiring comment I have from friends, the more i get inspired to share.
Another worthwhile activity which I have continuously engaged in is travelling with friends and family members. My high school friends and I have been travelling to various places here and abroad since 2011, a year before our retirement. We plan ahead, book our flights early to avail of promo rates. We save for our travels for our common fund. With friends we can be ourselves. Visiting new places and meeting new friends who have different cultures from ours is a valuable experience. I have also found value to frequent family bonding. It gives me a feeling of being cared for and loved by my children and grandchildren.
I have been retired for more than five years now and I thank God for the blessings that I have continuously been enjoying in my mid-senior years. I feel I still have a mission to fulfill as I add more life to my years. There is only one reminder that I need to point out– we should learn to like and enjoy what we have.
Positive thoughts, according to Barbara Fredrickson can actually create value in our lives and help us build our skills longer than a smile.
I look forward to sharing with you more inspiring stories and recipes on developing a healthy mind.
“I am retired, but not tired.”