Here is something really important for all of us to be seriously concerned about: in a post-work life, it is possible to find inner satisfaction and gratification by cleaning unproductive things of the offices merely to seek pleasure?
Recently, I asked readers to tell me about the stories that satisfy and delight the soul of the person of 60s as I negotiate my recent retirement. One of the hardest things for me has been to loosen my long-held physical and emotional attachment of setting goals and subsequently achieving those goals which have been the proud of life as a full-time journalist.
I receive a lot of letters from people of different places and different walks of life who had, among other things, started a charitable endeavor or a new business at 60- something. I will surely share those stories gradually but I will start with Marilyn Brulhart’s tale which was not much about change, as joy but it largely surprised me in the sense if one can lead to the other, and whether is it possible to engineer such a shift and even more surprisingly, if joy owes its existence to biology or serendipity.
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Brulhart’s tale starts in the water. When she retired after 30 years of teaching English as a second language at the age of 61, she was no longer interested to pursue another job as she was already in two choirs.
The turning point in her life came at the time when one of her friends suggested the learn-to-dragon-boat course which was offered at the False Creek Community Centre in Vancouver, this idea attracted Brulhart, she along with her friends completed this course. Her friend the completion of the course went in another direction while she remain hooked on this game. A decade later, her life is decorated with beautiful activities and revolves around paddling in a variety of forms which includes solo outrigger, six-person outrigger, and dragon boat.
“Paddling is my passion, hobby and I am a fool for paddling,” Brulhart wrote to me, mentioning that in one way paddling is in her blood as one of her Orkney ancestors is said to have crossed the sea in the 1700s while working for the Hudson’s Bay Company. “I guess it is in my blood.”
In a follow-up conversation on a phone call, we discussed in detail the important events of her paddling passion. One of the major reasons that appeals was that she has never been like a person who was interested in team sports. She was never inactive because she pursued dancing as an amateur at different stages in her life. But she never had in her mind the idea of being a shoulder to shoulder, puffing, huffing, and sweating in a boat on the ocean.
“I never thought I would explain it to anyone, now I will identify myself as an athlete,” says Brulhart
Dragon boating has not only strengthened her physic but also largely improved her mental being.
“Being retired is a fascinating idea because it brings with itself the opportunity to do everything you like, I don’t fill anything missing from my life, I know, I contribute a lot to my society by accomplishing a lot of deeds, but now I am not offering services to the society but I now I am enjoying my life and I am in much better shape than I ever was.”