I caught the tail end of a conversation between two fellow senior citizens:-

Senior citizen No 1. ….. “well, it helps to fill up my day and, thank goodness, makes the day shorter”: Senior citizen No 2. “the days aren’t long enough for me … I can never fit everything in … since I retired I have never been so busy in my life …”.
Now, which one of those do you think was the owner of a voice that conveyed the enthusiasm of living each day to the full, with eyes that still generated a youthful sparkle? And, need I ask you, which one do you think possessed a flat monotone voice that conveyed the message of just existing, whose daily routine probably revolved around the TV programme of the day and who possibly lived his life in a second-hand manner through characters on TV? You can also imagine that his viewing was coupled with the usual moan of “there’s nothing worth watching on the TV nowadays” but who, nevertheless, still watched the “nothing worth watching”. Now, more importantly, which one probably had a lot of friends, an active social life, interesting hobbies, and was an active member of various organizations?

So don’t become a Senior citizen No 1 - the proverbial ‘couch potato’ - remember the old adage ‘if you don’t use it, you will lose it’. Furthermore, we may belong to what is often referred to as the ‘grey brigade’, but we don’t want our complexions taking on that hue, and that is what we shall acquire if we sit indoors hugging the TV and not get out and enjoy the fresh air. In fact, attending a lecture many years ago given by a well-known health advisor, we were informed of the importance of allowing outdoor bright light (preferably sunshine) to strike across the eyes even for a few seconds every day - an aid to keeping old age at bay. (Grant you, it is sometimes difficult to find the sunshine in this green and pleasant land). Also, of course, we derive the benefit of Vitamin D, often referred to as the ‘sunshine vitamin’, which is good for our bones and helps in the fight against chronic illnesses. It is worth remembering that we must go outside to reap the full benefit as modern glass doesn’t allow the vitamin D-producing rays through.

Now, we know that eyes mirror the soul, so if the soul feels dead then the eyes will reflect this. So if you want to put some sparkle back into those peepers, DO something interesting and fulfilling, preferably in the company of people you like. If you mingle with people you do not particularly like, you will find your energy drained and your eyes will reflect this. Enthusiasm for living is infectious, so mingle with like-minded and enthusiastic folk.

A very good organization to belong is the U3A. I quote …

“U3A stands for the University of the Third Age, which is a self-help organization for people no longer in full time employment providing educational, creative and leisure opportunities in a friendly environment. It consists of local U3As all over the UK, which are charities in their own right and are run entirely by volunteers. Local U3As are learning cooperatives which draw upon the knowledge, experience and skills of their own members to organize and provide interest groups in accordance with the wishes of the membership. U3As offer the chance to study over 300 different subjects in such fields as art, languages, music, history, life sciences, philosophy, computing, crafts, photography and walking. A typical U3A has about 250 members but could be as small as 12 and as large as 2000”

Membership of my local U3A, of which I am a member, costs a mere £15 per year. We meet twice a month and a typical meeting is as follows -

The Chairman outlines the various current activities and outings.
This is followed by a talk from a visiting speaker. We have had speakers from all walks of life. During the past year we have enjoyed talks, to name but a few, on The Red Arrows, Walking the Great Wall of China, The Eden Project, Life and Designs of Wm Morris, Corn circles, Concorde, Water Divining, The Making of a TV programme, etc.
Our Sub Groups, which are often held in members’ homes, also offer diverse choices, eg Computing, Music Appreciation, Local History, Book Group, Photography, Genealogy, Luncheon Club, Walking Groups, etc..
There is a popular Weekend Activity Group who meet every Sunday for coffee, outings, etc. This is a godsend for ‘home alone’ folk, who perhaps find the weekend their most difficult time. It gives these members a purpose and an opportunity to widen their circle of friends and enter into social activities.
The Group Meetings always end with a social, refreshment time, and a chance to make new friends. SO, THERE IS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE. SOMETHING TO KEEP YOUR MIND AND BODY ACTIVE.

PS If you don’t have a group in your area, then why not start one?

I recently attended a popular Tai Chai Class in a neighbouring U3A Group. I was immediately made to feel welcome, and was also very relieved to find that the amount of physical participation was the choice of the individual. Some of the 70 year olds belied their age and moved with the ease of someone 20 years younger, whilst others, less able, remained sitting whilst performing some of the exercises. However, what they all had in common was the shared enjoyment of the experience.

So make sure that you get your share, put the sparkle in your life and ….

Author's Bio: 

RETIREMENT - Make the day count .....
A retired college lecturer who hopes that fellow retired folk will join her and benefit from the realization that self-growth and self-improvement does not stop with retirement. Retirement is a new beginning - a window of opportunity for the advancement of self-improvement, self-worth and above all enjoyment of life.

Author of the over 50's web resource www.mabels.org.uk. - providing retirement advice, articles of interest, health care & wellbeing for the senior person & much,much more.