Sunset Years


About the Author :
Ramesh Shankar has founded “Hrishti” – joy forever, a social enterprise based out of Bangalore to find ways and means of giving back to society. He is currently the Chief Joy Officer of Hrishti. He is committed to support the cause of “eradicating needless blindness amongst children by contributing all his net earnings post retirement from active service. He has led HR teams in Indian and multinational organisations in the past. He is passionate about writing, travelling, driving and nature.

I love sunsets. I can spend hours watching the sunset and taking photos. I don’t have many reasons for liking it other than that, I find it mesmerising.

Similarly, most of us are overjoyed at the birth of a child. We are privileged to be able to see the growth of the child. As an adult, we leave them alone to lead their own lives. Then it is the sunset hours for everyone in life.

Some of us are ready to enjoy the sunset years, while others are afraid to face this reality of life. As we age, our physical fitness is put to test and our memory begins to fade. This is just another phase of life which we need to prepare for so as to enjoy it.

I recollect a colleague of mine calling me desperately one day and wanting to discuss something important. I readily agreed and fixed a date and time to meet. I was surprised to learn he was fearful of his impending retirement. He felt he was not ready for the change.

When pressed about the reason for fearing retirement, he revealed that he was fearful of not being able to manage his expenses with just his savings. This colleague of mine had spent almost four decades with the organisation as a finance professional. His two sons are well educated and settled in life.

I told him that I, too, would retire at almost the same time as him but was looking forward to it. Most of us have spent our youth being productive. We need to ensure throughout our lives that we spend less than we earn and develop the habit of saving.

The day we start our career in any organisation, we are made aware of our date of retirement. The appointment letter mentions it. We know what our expenses are at every stage of our lives. We must plan and save not just for the present but for the future as well. If we do a reasonably decent job, then there is no need to be afraid of our sunset years.

Just as we plan everything else in our life, we must plan out our retirement and post-retirement life since it is the best phase to enjoy life. We have the time to pursue our passions, travel, write, read, listen to music, unwind amongst nature, and so much more.

We must ensure that we look after our physical fitness and mental health throughout our lives so as to enjoy our sunset years. Developing our routine is also a step in the right direction. It can be taking a walk, practising yoga, or playing a sport of our choice consistently. This will help us stay physically and mentally fit.

Another thing that can help us enjoy our sunset years is maintaining an attitude of gratitude. We might have had and continue to enjoy a positive family life, built a successful career, and be part of a great circle of friends and relatives who have helped us succeed in life. Now is the time to show our gratitude by giving back. We need to acknowledge all the people who have been by our side through thick and thin.

It is in this phase of life, we can give back to society. We must give back without expecting anything in return. We can donate our clothes, utensils, appliances, and other objects we no longer have any use for. Sharing our accumulated mental and physical wealth with the world will make us happier and more content.

We can share our knowledge by writing articles, mentoring students and young professionals, and even teaching in a school. This can be our way of giving back for all that we have earned and learned in our lives.

The sunset years of our lives must be spent showing gratitude to everyone who has contributed to our life making it better and by giving back to the world.

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