ReFirement at Any Age: Turn the Lights Back On

By Gail Supplee Tatum, Columnist, The Times

The title of this article is from a song that Billy Joel wrote after not having written an original song in seventeen years! After years of writing amazing songs that spoke to the world in so many ways, he just wasn’t able to honestly and humbly express something real and authentic.

When I heard that and then listened to the song, it brought tears to my eyes. I really felt what he conveyed through the lyrics of his song.

Being of similar age, I, too, struggle with having true, honest, authentic excitement about the main things I’m doing.

Is this something that you struggle with as well?

I think it largely comes down to the strong desire to only do what makes your heart and soul joyous. That being said, while we may want to be at that place in our lives, sometimes we have to accept where we are and find joy in that space, knowing that step by step we’ll get closer to a fully bright and blessed life.

So, while we’re each on our own journey to sunny days, here are a few mental and physical exercises to help along the way.

  1. Mindfulness Meditation:
    Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on the present moment without judgment. Regular practice can reduce stress, increase self-awareness, and promote emotional balance. Find a quiet space, sit comfortably, and pay attention to your breath or bodily sensations. Start with short sessions and gradually increase the duration. Over time, mindfulness meditation can help you feel more centered and alive.
  2. High-Intensity Interval Training aka HIIT:
    HIIT involves short bursts of intense exercise followed by brief recovery periods. It’s efficient and effective for improving cardiovascular health, boosting metabolism and enhancing mood. Choose activities you enjoy, such as running, cycling, bodyweight exercises or even something as simple as jumping in place. Incorporate HIIT into your routine a few times a week to increase energy levels and ignite your enthusiasm for physical activity.
  3. Journaling:
    Writing can be a powerful tool for self-reflection and personal growth. Start a journal to express your thoughts, feelings, and goals. Reflect on your achievements, challenges, and aspirations. Write about things you’re grateful for and areas where you want to improve. Journaling can help you gain clarity, reduce stress, and cultivate a positive mindset. Make it a habit to write regularly and notice the positive changes in your life.
  4. Creative Expression:
    Engaging in creative activities can ignite passion and spark inspiration. Whether it’s painting, writing, dancing, or playing music, find outlets for self-expression that resonate with you. Allow yourself to explore new ideas and experiment with different mediums. Creativity can stimulate your imagination, boost confidence, and enhance overall wellbeing. Make time for creativity in your life to reignite your sense of wonder and joy.
  5. Be “one” with Nature:
    Spending time in nature can rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit. Take walks in the park, hike trails, or simply sit in a garden and observe the beauty around you. Connect with the natural world by noticing the sights, sounds, and sensations. Nature immersion can reduce stress, increase vitality, and improve mood. Make it a priority to incorporate outdoor activities into your routine to refresh your perspective and renew your enthusiasm for life.

By incorporating these mental and physical exercises into your routine, you can reignite the spark in your life, enhance your overall well-being, and approach each day with renewed energy and enthusiasm.

Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire!

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