LIFE AFTER RETIREMENT — A LAUGHING MATTER
Life after retirement is a laughing matter. Laughing is a leading cause of happiness. It’s a fact. So we’ve gotta laugh. Of course, we may have to get past some unfunny things that try to get in our way first — lost purpose, boredom, loneliness, and the headlines filled with guns and bombs and the woes of Brittany Spears. How do we get past them? We laugh. We look for the funny things — the weird things we don’t understand. Why, for example, does my local paper print the obituaries right next to the crossword puzzle?
LAUGHTER IS A DO-IT-YOURSELF KIND OF THING
Laughter is a do-it-yourself kind of thing. You have to figure out what makes you laugh. Then, do it. Skip the headlines and go straight to the funny paper. Or make a journal of every dumb mistake you ever made — that’s guaranteed to make your kids laugh at least.
Creating laughs is why I draw cartoons. Animals with attitude are always good for a laugh.
Animals are funny. Did you ever watch your dog or cat and wonder what they’re thinking? I imagine the answer and draw it — feisty, angry, silly, or superior.
What do you think this guy is thinking?
YOU CAN’T THINK OF ANYTHING TO LAUGH AT?
Then you haven’t tried to call your cable or cell phone provider lately. You get customer service voices without bodies. They stand between you and any human who you hope can help you. But first, the voices demand detailed information — information that if you knew you wouldn’t be calling. One of the voices actually sounded snippy when I couldn’t answer its questions. Finally, you reach a human, but it’s not the right human. Or worse, it’s the it-can’t-be-done human.
If these providers aren’t enough, there are the airlines. But hold onto your blood pressure. You know the old saying: Never wrestle with a pig. You just get dirty, and the pig likes it. That’s funny.
One of the best things about getting older is you know you win when you walk away laughing. Plus you’ll have stories to tell your friends — and embellish as much as you like for the sake of the laugh
LIFE AFTER RETIREMENT — WHAT’S MISSING?
After we retire, one thing we miss most is a sense of purpose. When we were working, even the toughest jobs were rewarding because they mattered. And what did we do when we finished them? We laughed. Whether we taught, managed, built things, or fixed things, creative purpose was built into our careers. We solved problems. We came up with new ideas. Then we celebrated — and laughed.
Now, without that purpose, it’s like we’re cut adrift without a direction. So, there’s no party coming. And that’s nothing to laugh at.
TIME TO MAKE A NEW PURPOSE
You have time on your hands. The dog can only entertain you so much. And the grandkids have to go home or to school sometimes. This is where you take matters into your own hands and come up with a new purpose. There are hundreds of them. You can volunteer. Join a crew that cleans up the river. Serve meals at a family homeless shelter. Or work with people who are even older than you. They have great stories and they love to laugh.
Or you can make a laugh journal to share with friends. Think back to every funny story in your life and write it down. Or a collection of the best jokes. Or … think like a kid.
GO BACK TO YOUR CHILDHOOD — DANCE
Maybe the answer for your life after retirement is to remember what was fun when you were a kid. What did you love to do — something you’ve been too busy to do in years? Maybe it’s something you think is too silly — something you’ve outgrown. But maybe it’s not.
It could be your new passion — your purpose.
If you loved to dance, don’t let age stop you. Dance! Go out on the town.
My passion was drawing. I couldn’t sit still without a pencil and paper in my hand. I drew everywhere — in church, school, or while watching TV with Grandma. Sometimes it got me in trouble — like the time I drew a picture of the Sunday school teacher with warts and a witch’s hat on the lesson sheet. I’d have been fine except that nasty Nancy stole it and showed it to the teacher.
I tried to play sick the next Sunday but Mama didn’t buy it, so I had to face the teacher again.
REMEMBER WHEN WASTING TIME WAS YOUR PURPOSE?
“If you’d study instead of wasting time drawing silly pictures, you’d know the multiplication tables by now.” I didn’t like the multiplication tables. Even the grid was boring.
I didn’t let that teacher stop my artistic endeavors. I had a new canvas — my arithmetic tests. I turned them into beautiful pieces of art. My early attempts just had flowers along the edge of the paper. As time and tests went on, I added raindrops, then clouds and a rainbow. With each test, my drawings got better. My final work, my masterpiece had a rainbow and raindrops falling from the cloud, passing through the arithmetic problems, and landing on the umbrella of a little girl standing in a garden of colorful flowers.
I thought Mrs. Williams had appreciated my work, but after I turned in my masterpiece she ended my career creating beautiful arithmetic tests.
BECOME YOUR OWN PURPOSE
With no mean girl or Mrs. Williams to tell me I can’t, I draw my cartoons —
dogs and cats and geese and horses. And frogs — my favorites because frogs can’t help being funny.
I worked at my new purpose with gusto. Soon, stacks of cartoons teetered on my desk. It was messy. And was it enough of a purpose? That’s when I decided to sell my cartoons at art shows and open the Grumpy Goose Shop online — a shop for animals that talk to people and make them laugh.
LIFE AFTER RETIREMENT IS A LAUGHING MATTER
Laughing is a leading cause of happiness. We’ve gotta laugh because laughter gets us past the roadblocks. So the key is to look for the funny or create our own — because laughter is a do-it-yourself kind of thing.
Read more about this crazy life after retirement https://lifefunscripted.com/life-after-retirement-bring-your-sense-of-humor/