Written by Matt Murry, Panorama Director of Operations, for the October 2014 Panorama News.
I must admit I really enjoy “surfing the internet”. Anything I am interested in at the moment will have an abundance of information available by typing a few simple words. A couple of weeks ago while on the web, I ran across a number of interesting articles about retiring. This is not only interesting because of my profession but because I see firsthand how well Panorama residents retire and the accomplishments they have long after they have retired. Although I am many years away from this myself, and because of working at Panorama, it is a time I look forward to. One of the articles immediately reminded me of Panorama. It was called “Tips for a Happy Retirement”. It seems as if every resident that lives at Panorama must have not only read it, but studied it and acted out each tip perfectly.
Make life plans.
It’s important to plan for the non-financial aspect of retirement living by considering what will make you happy. Maybe you’ll climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, go dog sledding in Alaska, make time to write that novel you’ve been thinking about, or even continue to work part-time. Make a life plan and tick off your experiences as you move ahead. I see and hear about amazing adventures, hobbies, athletic events, and vacations every week at Panorama.
Find a purpose.
Look for things you can do on an ongoing basis that bring you joy and add structure to your life. This can include travel, hobbies or even training for a new career. This is an area I see residents enjoy daily as I walk through the Quinault , Aquatic Center, the grounds.
Keep your mind sharp.
“Use it or lose it” applies to your brain. If you feel the need to replace the intellectual stimulation you found at work, try learning a foreign language or a musical instrument, or join a book club. Lifelong learning offers many opportunities to keep your mind sharp. This is another category with endless opportunities at Panorama and if we don’t already have it, you are encouraged to start it.
Getting involved in your community is a great way to give back, and it’s a wonderful opportunity to interact with people and make new friends. Could you imagine the Patio Sale without volunteers, or the Auditorium, or Resident Council?
Develop new friendships.
A measurement of whether people are successful at retirement living is the strength of their social network—that includes family and friends. Check out groups that help you meet new people or join community or religious organizations that have members who share your interests. It’s possible to meet people and make new friends even if it’s difficult to get around. It is scientific fact people live longer when surrounded by other people.
Carter brought up an old adage: A lean horse for a long race. With increasing life spans, retirement living can be a long race, so get yourself in shape. That means eating well, watching your weight and staying active. When you feel good, it’s easier to stay positive and open to new experiences.
There are so many options at Panorama. The article went on to say to keep setting goals for your future: decide what you still must accomplish but never had time for in the past.
-Want to obtain a diploma that you never completed or started before?
-What instrument do you want to learn to play… flute, drums (sorry neighbors)…?
-Do you want to travel to other states or new countries?
– Learn Spanish?
The most helpful thing you could do for yourself is to think about what things you feel passionately about and then find a way to engage in it. You don’t have to think about meeting other people’s expectations; you can relax and be who you are. This is what I see from Panorama residents and it is a pleasure that we get to help support it!