Introduction to The Elder’s Journey

Key Concept

Old age is depicted in the media and in conversation as the end of one’s useful life. It is a time for sitting back and watching the world go by. But does that have to be true? The Elder’s Journey says that you now have the time and experience to make a difference in the world – not just in what you do, but more importantly, in who you are being.

Objective

This Road-Map lays out the structure and content of the Elder’s Journey. Every Heroic Quest, be it Luke Skywalker’s in the Star Wars series, or Harry Potter’s in the Harry Potter series, includes an Elder – an Obie wan Kenobie or a Dumbledore - and without that Elder’s wisdom the Hero’s Quest would have failed. In modern life, the need for Elder Wisdom is just as necessary – it’s just that a concept called Retirement took the Elders out of the picture –and it’s time they were brought back in.

The Elder's Journey

Open Discussion Forum

Beginning with an Ending

Contemplation - Going Within

My Vision for my Retirement

Old Age and Frailty

A Checklist for successful Eldering

Answer YES or NO to these questions

  • Do I have a vision (or a dream) for my retirement?
  • Have I defined my purpose in life during retirement?
  • Do I do some physical activity 5 – 6 days a week?
  • Do I eat a balanced low cholesterol diet?
  • Do I watch the additives in my food?
  • Do I drink lots of water and fruit juices?
  • Do I have an annual medical check-up?
  • Do I get 7 or more hours of sleep a night?
  • For men, is my waist less than 102 cms. For women, less than 88 cms?
  • Am I socially active – do I see friends at least once a week?
  • Have my spouse and I spoken about being in each other's space 24/7?
  • Do I read, paint, draw, make music or learn something new daily?
  • Do I have a "bucket list" of at least 5 items?
  • Do I intend to live in the same area after retirement?
  • Do I have plans to travel, study, work or volunteer during retirement?
  • Do I have a passion I want to follow to bring new meaning into my life?
  • Do I have a philanthropic plan for my retirement?
  • Do I have a plan for staying economically active in my retirement?
  • Have I sorted out my wills, insurances and estate?
  • Do I have a “Living Will”?

If you answered NO to any of the questions, your plans for a fulfilling Eldering retirement are incomplete. We hope this Journey helps you answer YES to all these questions.

 

How The Elders Journey works

 

There are 26 Modules - every Module has 3 parts

Some notes, information or instructions These provide you with some background to that particular subject and may refer you to some articles or videos that provide more information.

Some worksheets or questionnaires. The sheets are “read only” which means that you can’t complete them directly. (Well – you can – but you will lose whatever you have written when you close your computer.) Instead ...

You can Save them to your computer. You can then work directly on the sheets as and when it’s convenient for you.

You can Print them and build up a “hard-copy” file that you can work on as and when it’s convenient for you. This option allows you “hand-write” your responses to the questions – so you don’t have to be stuck to a computer.

You can Use a Journal so all your thinking is collected in one place.

A Discussion Assignment. This is a question (or series of questions) that captures the essence of that Module and is an opportunity for you to set an intention for something you want to do. When you complete the assignment it will be forwarded anonymously to a Closed Discussion Forum. The Forum is a place where you can share your thinking, experience and concerns and you can learn from the experience of others.

The Discussion Forum is facilitated by an experienced Elder Coach who will help you refine your thinking and perhaps challenge your intentions.

And in time you will "build a relationship" with other people going through the Journey. You can be of huge service to them by checking in to see if they've done what they said they wanted to do. We all know how easy it is to set an intention and then not see it through.

You can also help by sharing your own experience and by asking for advice.

Ultimately the Discussion Forum will become the most important aspect of the Journey - it will become the difference between thinking about things and actually getting things done. But like anything else - you will only get out what you are prepared to put in.

A note on using a Journal

We recommend that you use a Journal. As you go through any transition, it is really important to keep a record of your thinking. Print the sheets and then sit with your Journal and write whatever comes up as you read the questions. There are no right or wrong answers – just insights that work for you. This is a period of deep contemplation. You are considering what you and your life will be like for the next 20 to 30 years. Capturing your thoughts in one place is an important aspect of that contemplation.

A word of caution: a Journal is a powerful tool and you will find yourself entering territory you have been avoiding – when that happens, use the Discussion Forum for advice and an exchange of experiences.

 

Confidentiality Agreement

“I respect other’s point of view and agree not to share confidential information about any person, or discussion in the Forum, with any person outside the Forum, without the permission of the Forum”.

By continuing past this point, you agree to the above Confidentiality Agreement.

A Suggestion

Preparing for retirement needs to be a joint exercise. Ideally you and your Spouse would do the Journey together. The opportunity to talk together about the impact of your retirement and old age is vitally important. If for no other reason, than you and your Spouse could be spending many hours a day together – and that’s an invitation to murder if there ever was one!

The intention of this Elder’s Journey is two fold:

  • That you use the exercises to implement your thinking – rather than just doing the thinking.
  • That you use the opportunity to be honest with yourself – there are lots of questions and you could skirt over them (with “please the teacher” type of answers) or you could dig deep, take a long hard look at your life and then forgive yourself for everything you didn’t do, then move on into this next phase.

Discussion Forum

The next module : Open Discussion Forum

The purpose of this Open Discussion Forum is to start a conversation. There is a lot to consider as we grow older - and just knowing that others are wrestling with similar issues is encouraging. Their ideas may help you with your ideas.

Next Module