The Power of Curiosity During Retirement
One of the perks (and there are many) of living down here in Florida is the people you meet.
Now, I know. Florida has a reputation for weird and off the wall. Any news story that starts with "Florida Man" typically doesn't end well for our hero.
Florida has a reputation as a haven for people who are "retired." And while that's true, and with great weather and no income tax, who can blame people for retiring here?
Still, I've come to have an entirely different understanding of what retired means these days.
Sure, there are folks who spend their days on the golf course, or fishing, and have completely left the "productive" chapter of their lives behind.
But far more of the people I meet in their 70s, 80s or more don't really fit the definition of retired in the way most people think of it.
They're still in the game, though the game and what they get from playing has changed. Whether it's volunteering, mentoring, teaching or taking on a new career path, they're committed to learning, improving and growing, and don't plan on stopping.
I don't live far from a university, and during more normal times, if I stopped by the library (which I do from time to time to research), it would strike me how many older folks are in there, mingling with the college kids.
Which is amazing. The key to a long, happy life is to stay curious. Keep learning new things. The minute you "retire" and hang it up, you're done for.
At least, that's the way I've come to think of it. And imagine what the college kids are getting from interacting with people who could be their grandparents – and seeing these folks still have a thirst for knowledge 50 years later.
Some people confuse "busyness" with staying engaged. But just filling your days with mindless tasks isn't the same as being open to curiosity and new experiences.
If you can't pick up the phone and call someone for 10 minutes to catch up because you're "too busy," life is in control of you. Not the other way around.
Nobody wants to live like that. And if you can help it, nobody should. Because when you're too busy, you can't be curious. There's no room for it.
And that's a big mistake.
Staying curious keeps life new. It fills you with joy and activity. And when you're active, your life becomes long and fulfilling.
That's the type of retirement I look forward to.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and stay safe out there.
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