Well beyond the fact that all and everything changes and that permanence and eternity are rare achievements, is the fact that What was once so important, significant, relevant, nurturing, and satisfying passes (sometimes within minutes; moreso over months and years)) and that whatever importance, significance, relevance, meaningfulness, and inner fulfilment in the passing moments of the here-and-now present in later life perhaps matter more or the most of all.
It is only through the prisms of long life experience and observation that one comes to see well below and beyond the physical surfaces, mere exteriors, and mental first impressions, and comes to know the deeper, inner, more essential learnings and states of living in the passing moments. Focus and decision-making or choices become greatly simplified as one accepts and appreciates more. As they say, Life becomes simpler and the old life-long restlessness for the unknown dissipates.
There is more peace and inner harmony after retirement and, importantly, more freedom to live one’s life as one wants to day after day. One can see more clearly and has more perspective about most things. There is a zen-like confidence and wisdom that potentially arrives in later lives when the world is in other hands. It is necessary, though, to shut out distractions–the madness, irrationality, and lack of common sense in the outer world and other people. These will only negatively affect one’s personal trajectory in later years.
As I’ve stated here before, it is most important to be one’s own person and to assume responsibility for one’s own life. And far more fun to be living life on one’s own terms, free of the group and conventional choices.
There can be much satisfaction in looking backward on a life lived that way–warts, mistakes, and misses aside. To have written one’s own story and to be happy with the way it turned out–the rightness and appropriateness of most of the decisions and calls. Much of what this blog has been about for the past six years is centered on Hamlet’s famous quote “To thine own self be true.” Shakespeare, one of the Wisest Ones of all-time knew well and got it ultra-right, methinks.