Something To Look Forward To

I was out with two friends for dinner recently and one was talking about her elderly father who is having some health problems. Serious issues that are physically debilitating and mentally depressing.  She told me how he rallied to show up for his granddaughter’s wedding and his son’s 60th birthday celebration.  He had a great time and his illness seemed diminished.

My friend lives near her parents so she sees both her mom and dad often and noticed that dad’s calendar, which he keeps open and on his desk, was blank now that the wedding and the birthday celebration were over. Her dad’s health issues seemed more prominent. We talked about it and she decided to write in some church gatherings and events as well as other upcoming birthdays and holidays in her dad’s calendar. It doesn’t matter if he participates, it’s about having options, something to look forward to.

Later I reflected on the conversation and realized it’s true for me. When I left my full time work (I still don’t say retired) I felt a loss of status, nobody needed me to do anything now or in the immediate future. I started putting set times to do grocery shopping, house chores, golf tee times, painting and piano playing in my calendar. I don’t have to do those things at set times, but it helped to have something in the calendar.

I believe we all need it, something to plan for, and something to look forward to. It’s a reason to get other things done so the vacation, the outing, the celebration can be enjoyed.

If your elderly parents or your little kids can’t do it for themselves, do it for them. A schedule, something to look forward to, adds a sense of purpose and meaning to life.

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