Saturday, October 22, 2011

Self-improvement or simply disciplie.

In my reteriment I have found that one of the biggest obstacles has been myself.  That has to do with self-discipline or self-improvement.

While I was still working I would see these old guys running around or doing a little sidewalk superintending and they would be wearing old sweats and personal hygene that could be said to socially challenging. Now there is nothing wrong with this after all sweats pants and shirts are comfortabe and I myself lounge around it them in the evening. But, in the cases I am talking about it is more of given up.

These men, and I am speaking of men, gave up living when they reteried and the highlight of their day has become "Judge Judy" or "Cops" rerun's. They forgot all that they said they were going to do when they finally got to reteire. They lacked the discipline to follow through and after a few weeks became a lump on the couch that their old lady cleanes the house around.

It is hard sometimes to remember what that the orginal goal was. Like the old engineering maxium "when you are ass deep in aligators it is hard to remember the orginal goal was to drain the swamp." So it is for most of us that when we leave our normal pattern of life we loose our focus, our way.

The thing is that I was heading for that unacceptable position myself. So I have implemented my own self-improvement program. The first step is launch myself back into rehab which for me is 3 times a week an hour at a time in a pool exercising. Right now I am paying for my lack of didication.  Don't get me wrong I know it will not improve my joints they are too far gone. But, it does help with my muscle conditioning and weight control. This is step 1, paying attention to maintianing my health and moblity as best as I can.

Step 2 is mental conditioning.

Here problem solving, reading, writing, are the methods I have choosen to follow. I use my Ipad to play a daily game of chess, do a crosswod puzzle, and keep up with different bloggers.

I keep a ready supply of books on hand and make a point of turning off the TV and read one of them or a article from one of many magazines I subscribe to. The type of books and mags I read vary from SciFi, mystery, to history and drama, and mags from woodworking, popular mechanics, photography to rags like Mother Jones and Mother Earth.

Part of that problem solving involve projects, They range from gardenig plans to woodworking. As any one who works with wood figuring out how to cut, measuring, assembling and finishing helps keep you sharp and practice has positive results. Right now I am stymied on a project I am working on due to a broken tool but hope to rectifiy that soon.

Step 3 has to do with interacting with more than imediate family. While I have never been accused of being a social butterfly, I do believe that it is important that you interact with folks. To that end I am endeavoring to figure out some place like a senior citizen center that I can find a domino or 42 game and an opportunity to share a cup of coffee. Too much time with yourself is not necessary a good thing. The voices in your head tend to start winning too many arguments.

This simple 3 step program is my method of maintaing who I am. When the day come for you to retire you mush choose what will work for you. But whatever it is don't become that couch potato in a pair of unwashed sweats.


  1. Outstanding concept David---
    A good plan and a perfect cartoon to illustrate. There's a book called "the 3rd good place" on how viable humans have a place besides work and home to socialize...which provides freedom to know others unlike yourself--coffee shops, bookstores, the neighbor bar...this might be a good inclusion in your plan as well. I've been trying to add myself as a follower but have been having difficulty---I'll try again
    great blog

  2. Aha managed to become a follower...
    all the best

  3. Glad I read this. I still see retirement as being a long way off (I am 51), but by that time, I hope to retire to woodworking assuming my body co-operates.

    Good luck to the tool fix. Once you get power tools, keeping them running can be a head scratcher.