How can we experience retirement as a period of life with creative potential, an opportunity to do things we haven’t had time for or things we’ve only dreamed about? Rabbi Irving (Yitz) Greenberg suggests we be guided by the mitzvah of la’erev (doing it again). “Middle age and old age are a time to create again, especially so in this generation as the human life span increases…. People who create again, who break new ground as they grow, make a further major contribution to the increase of life…. In the process, they keep their own lives vital.”
Blessed with a full life.
So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalms 90:12)
In my retirement, may I be granted opportunities to love, to learn, and to make the world a better place. May I be blessed with health, contentment, and companionship.
As you plan for retirement, seek role models for the kind of retirement you desire: the person who learns a new skill or hobby; the former business executive who takes time to tutor young proteges; the community leader who continues to find new ways to grow and contribute; the man or woman who seizes the opportunity to deepen relationship with friends and loved ones. Keep their stories with you as you embark upon this new part of your life.
(On the day you embark upon your new life)
Ha’kadosh barukh hu.
Blessed is the One who grants us success in our endeavors.
In the morning sow your seed, and at evening do not let your hands be idle, because you do not know which is going to succeed. (Ecclesiastes 11:6)
At fifty – the age of counsel … at eighty – the age of strength. (Pirkei Avot 5:24)
Gray hair is a crown of glory, to be found in the path of righteousness. (Pirkei Avot 6:8)
An elderly and wise woman once gave me some excellent advice: “Aaron,” she said, “it is very important as you get older to engage in an activity that you didn’t engage in when you were very young, so that you are not continually in competition with yourself as a young man.” (Aaron Copland, The New Music 1900-1969)