Another sentence regularly heard by me in our peer group. Some people feel that once they have retired, they need not plan anything. I have heard some people saying, “Now that I am retired, let me be the boss of my own time! I was a prisoner of time all the time.” It means that the person making this statement was an organised person. He had a routine during his working life. So, he was following a routine. Now that he retired, he wants to become a free bird.
Keep in mind that it is okay if you decide that you only want to follow your routine on weekdays and not on weekends, or if you have a different method on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, etc. It is also perfectly okay to set aside specific times to do nothing. The point is that you have thought about it carefully and are mindful about your choices. After all, having a routine is nothing other than a conscious decision to live your life in a certain way through healthy repetition. It is one of the keys to success and happiness.
Each of us is different and has different goals, needs, desires, and resources. That is the reason it is essential to develop our routine after carefully deciding what we want to achieve in our lives. The rewards to be reaped are worth the effort. Today is a brand-new day, and it is never too late to start your routine. Even in retirement, you need to have a method to your life.
The other day I met a doctor friend of mine. He is a couple of years senior to Jaya and me. We were at his clinic. He wondered and said, “Pramod, do you think, I should continue working? I had casually checked with some of my patients and asked them if I should retire. The patients flatly said, No, doctor, please don’t retire.” It encourages him to continue. Then I told him about my brother in law, Dada. Dada is all of 86 years of age. He is Pune’s well-known general practitioner and could be the oldest who still goes to his clinic to see the patients, every day. For the last few years, Dada has an assistant with him in the clinic. But he goes to the clinic both in the morning and the evening. Dada said, “Pramod, it is a good idea to have some routine to our lives. It does not keep me worried about what to do today. My patients start taking my advice at my home from 8 am. Then I go to the clinic around 10 am. I follow a similar routine in the evening.” Other than this he travels, goes on holidays and meets friends.
I told this story to my doctor friend. He thought about it for a moment and said, “I think it is a great idea.” I am sure he will work for years to come. I feel that every person should keep on doing some activity regularly depending on his/her health. Such routine and activities help people to look forward to their days ahead. Our mind is happy when you have something to look forward.
Near our home, I see a gentleman sitting below his condo. He is around a hundred years of age. He sits there in the morning and the evening if he can. He has difficulty in walking. A couple of times, I have chatted with him. He told me his life story and said that he finds the open-air invigorating. He is challenged because he cannot walk much but sitting inside his home would be even more annoying.
If it is possible those who could continue working, even in a small way, should continue to do so. We continue to do some professional work. Post my retirement- (I call it almost retired 🙂🙂); I do have a routine. I write a blog every alternate day. I go to the gym or go for a walk, and Jaya goes for her a walk. Whenever we need to make some local purchase, Jaya and I trundle down to the market. We both look at the finances more carefully than we could while we were working. Jaya is invited to various organisations to give keynote addresses and speeches. She calls it technical, social work.
Working for as long as possible automatically creates a routine in our lives. Our other activities are organised around the work we do. “Working” makes us feel wanted. Whatever work you do, you need to prepare, and you need to get ready. You need to have appropriate clothing. I am a consultant to a large Japanese conglomerate. Besides routine work, I have observed that whenever there is a crisis, technical or commercial, our customers involve me. One of them called me yesterday. He said, “Pramod, I know that once you are in the loop, the matter will get resolved quickly.” It shows my usefulness in what I am doing.
Does it give a boost to my ego? No, not really. But what it does is to keep me interested in the work I do. It has also made me think about how my usefulness could be utilised for social work. I am looking at various avenues of finding out where my experience could be utilised.
But why do all this? Why don’t I just put my legs up and do nothing? Yes, one can do nothing! Jaya and I do nothing when we go on holidays. A couple of years back, we had taken a holiday in Manali. We did “nothing”, and we lazed around the lawns of our cottage. We sat reading, chatting, playing cards with the snow-clad Himalayan mountains in the backdrop. Yes, we did nothing!
In Madikeri, this year, again we did nothing, other than listening to birds, the flowing streams. The rustling of leaves with breeze helped us further to do nothing. We met many new people during our stay and chatted. We did nothing!
Friends, in our life you can never do “nothing”. What we do is that we change our routines to suit the situation. When it is raining heavily during monsoons, you sit by your window or your balcony, doing nothing. You have the beauty of nature to absorb. Such situations rekindle your memories. You may suddenly remember an old friend and call him. You will chat about how you had fun during heavy monsoon rains in Lonavala, during your college days. Jaya would suddenly say, “Hey, let us have one more cup of tea, to suit the mood.” Go and get a Kachori but you can eat only half of it. You have never done that before! But do it, your new routine of following your gut feeling.
In your golden years keep on doing “nothing”. Go with the flow, go with nature. It is a new routine that you are following inadvertently. “Doing nothing” is a myth that most of us hope to earn, but we keep on doing something with a different method or way than we used to do. That different method is called a routine. So, follow your instincts, go and do what your mind tells you. Decide to go for a movie or a drama, on the spur of the moment. That is a new routine for you.