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Adventures in Retirement – Everything in life can be an adventure

Written by Bill Leavitt. Posted in Senior Living

Published on August 10, 2016 with No Comments

I often promote the principle that you should make retirement an exciting adventure.  In my book about retirement, I have suggested many activities that can provide self-fulfillment, exercise, excitement and fun.  However, I think that not all adventures are enjoyable.

Looking back over the 16 years since I retired, I see now that nearly everything is an adventure—good and bad.  Just in the past three years, many unusual things have happened to me, and every one of them taught me something or improved me in some way.  Obviously, vacations and fun activities are desirable, but sometimes bad things can happen, too.  They can be unfortunate, even painful, but often they can provide positive benefits.

For example, a little over a year ago, I went on a “Rock & Roll” cruise and personally met many performers from the 1950s and 1960s who were a joy to meet.  These were people I would have given anything to meet when they were in their prime.  Still, it was really fun to meet them now as senior celebrities.

On the other hand, two years ago, I went through three very serious lung surgeries.  As painful and difficult as they were, I learned a couple important lessons.  I learned to appreciate how a person’s spouse suffers through your serious health problems, and how the health care people in a hospital should be appreciated for all they do for you.  An unexpected benefit was losing a lot of weight; I took advantage of this by maintaining a lower weight ever since.

Just a few weeks ago, I was hit by a car.  I was very lucky in that I sustained only minor injuries.  It wasn’t fun, but it gave me an appreciation of how important it is to be aware of people in front of your car, even when you are going slowly.  And I realized that 15-20 miles per hour is fast enough to do real damage to someone.  It even taught me to be a more careful driver.

About a year ago, I participated in a dance contest on a cruise.  I signed up for a drawing just for fun, and was unexpectedly chosen.  However, while I am not a good dancer, I was teamed up with a terrific dancer and had a lot of fun that I didn’t expect. We both had an exciting time trying new dances.

Just short of my 75th birthday, this year I won a national championship in ski racing. Of course, it was fun and exciting, but more than that, I felt really good that many years of perseverance has paid off for me.

What I am suggesting is that everything in life is an adventure.  If you embrace the good and bad, you can become a better person.

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About Bill Leavitt

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All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle. Bill Leavitt is a technical writer from Valparaiso. After retiring from a large corporation in Chicago, he did technical writing consulting for many companies. He currently teaches part-time at Purdue University Calumet. You can order Leavitt’s book, “Retirement: Life’s Greatest Adventure,” by sending $16.65 (includes shipping and sales tax) made payable to Write On Technical Writing, Inc., P.O. Box 132,Valparaiso, IN 46384-0132. Or, visit RetirementLifesGreatestAdventure.com for more information.

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