What’s in a Name?

I hate the word “retired.” It brings to mind quilts and pillows. Gone to rest. Out to pasture. But you know me, I’m “not done yet!” I’m still reinventing myself in my thoughts and in my deeds.

As far back as 2009, the Wall Street Journal reported on research that validated the saying, “You’re only as old as you feel you are.” According to science, ageist stereotypes, cultural icons, and our own self-doubting thoughts influence not only our behavior, but our health and longevity. My joy in living the second act of life is encapsulated in the poster below and the phrase, “I’m Not Retired, I’m Repurposed!”

We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far.

Swami Vivekananda

Let’s focus on the positive side of aging: slowing down, going deeper, connecting more. I’m proud to be an Elder. But for the miracle of transplant surgery nine years ago, I wouldn’t have had the privilege of growing old. My position relative to society, without a job and without any dependents at home, is as it always has been – whatever I make of it, now, in this moment, with all that I am. Let’s help eliminate ageist stereotypes from our society by using positive words and images in our own thoughts.

Print the image if you like it, or contact me to purchase it as an 8.5″ x 11″ poster on card stock so you can remind yourself daily and all your friends of the joys of moving beyond the limitations of being a mature adult.

I'm Not Retired

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