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Our Preconceptions: Any Worth A Revisit?


A few weeks ago I asked you to think about some of your preconceptions in a few areas to decide if any needed to be changed or adjusted. One of the best features of retirement is the ability to reshape how you approach your life. We have the time and freedom to do so. I promised to give each area from the original list the same consideration and report on my thoughts about attitudes that have changed, and those where I struggle. here are my responses to some of them.

Aging


Getting older doesn't really bother me. There is nothing I can do about it anyway. I do dislike intensely the erosion of my physical self. I do what I can to minimize the problems. But, to complain how unfair it is and insist my 68 year old body be the same as my 38 or 48 year old body is a waste of energy. 

I think society's view of older people is improving. Maybe it is because there are so many of us! I hope the stereotype of the grumpy old man or woman can be relegated to the history books. 

I don't fear death but I do fear what my death will mean to those I love. 


People Not Like Us


In this area I continue to struggle with preconceptions. As much as I'd like to think this is not the case, I catch myself feeling uncomfortable or extra vigilent around people not like me, people of different races or skin colors. I am disappointed in this reaction.

Even though virtually everyone under 35 seems to have tattoos, I form an opinion about someone with lots of visible body ink, based solely on appearance and that is wrong.

I think ( maybe hope is a better word) I have changed how I perceive those who have a different spiritual choice than I. Honestly, I am more repelled by those who use religion as a blunt end instrument to threaten others who don't believe exactly what they do than any basic choice another human being makes. I believe my faith is true, but I hope I am not judgmental toward others with another set of beliefs. What if I am wrong?


Defining Success


In the original post I noted that all the trappings of success I believed to be important while a younger man no longer apply. Today, success is something I measure internally. Making a new friend, making one of my grandkids smile, remembering to be nice to a clerk or service worker...those are a measure of success for me now. 


Being Remembered


As I wrote in the original post, the career success and notoriety in my industry ended quite quickly after retirement. I thought my "name" would remain well known for much longer than it did. I was very wrong. If that was how I hoped to be remembered, then I lost that battle.

Now, my wish is much closer to home: I would like to be remembered for what I have done for my family. I hope I have been supportive and encouraging to my daughters. I would like to be remembered for 41 years of marriage and counting. I would like to be remembered as someone who was honest, dependable, and loyal (sounds like the Boy Scout oath!).

The material success, the money in the bank, the pleasant lifestyle, even this blog (sorry!) are unimportant if I fail to be remembered as a man who could be counted on by those who are depended on him.


Obviously, not all opinions formed earlier in life are wrong or need to be changed. Some are the bedrock of our character But, preconceptions that need to be jettisoned are sometimes very tough to dislodge. We are creatures of habit. As noted above my life is a work in progress.


I would love your thoughts on any of these areas that you feel comfortable sharing.



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