Hi, it’s Dr Denise Taylor, author of Rethinking Retirement for Positive Ageing. By the time I post this up, the book is probably already out. There’s a series of videos that I’ve done, which is all about me, down here in my wood, talking through the book and bringing it alive, rather than you just reading static stuff.

I want to talk to you about an activity that’s on page 216, which is near the end of the book.

It starts off – your future self at 90. 

Life is a journey to wholeness. Wholeness includes un-wholeness, which is where you can accept the imperfect, broken part of yourself, and also of everyone else.

This is part of wisdom.  We may wonder about what might have been, but this wonder is one of curiosity.  What is most important is what is right for us now and will be right for us in the future.  And by paying more attention to our senses, especially our feelings, we are more likely to accept how things are and what comes next.

That’s why I spend quite a bit of time out in nature. Because I’m paying attention to all my senses, see, hear, feel, smell, touch, but particularly what I see and hear. Noticing the leaf that drops and how the wind just gently moves, a small tree or branch. 

The activity, 13. 6., – I say earlier I ask you to consider your life looking two and five years ahead, because that’s quite a useful thing to do.  Let’s now take a longer view and imagine your life at 90 or 25 years into the future.

I want you to write about your life then. Your relationships, health, how you found meaning, your legacy. How are you?

Take 10 minutes to write whatever comes into your mind.  As you sit there at 90, I then want you to look back over the past 20 odd years.

What are you most proud of? What stands out as part of your legacy? 

I think by looking into the future and seeing how we think it’s going to go, we can either think, yay, bring this on, or we can think, that’s not quite what I want … we’ve got time to do something different. It might be something that you can do alone.

It might be something that you want to pair up with somebody else on.  I’m seriously considering group sessions, where we can work together on these areas, learning from each other. 

I’m just going to read out what I say, my final, final bit.

As we end this book, I’ve loved being on this journey with you. This is a wonderful time to reach this life stage, and we are so lucky to be here. Many people never reached it.  If you’ve enjoyed journaling, you might like to continue. 

And then I say … I’m in a happy place with my life, even looking back five years, I would never have imagined that I would choose to work less and to spend more time in nature.  I’ll continue to research around ageing, wisdom and elderhood and already have things in hand for my next book.  I write regular articles published on LinkedIn and on my websites. Feel free to sign up. I have plans to give talk to a wider audience too.

Wishing you a wonderful future.  And I truly do. Whether you’ve been following along with me because you’re around my age and retirement is something that is important to you. Whether you’re somebody much younger who’s just curious and wondering maybe how you can help an older friend, companion that you have. Or maybe you’re working as a career coach and want to understand this area too. Maybe you’re in HR or a financial services person and it’s important for you to know about this as well.

So, I think what I have to say is relevant to a whole range of people. And as I often say to my younger friends – you are all going to age one day.  Let’s hope that this book is part of my legacy.

There’s a lot of longevity around the concepts that I’ve shared, but all done in a really practical way.  This has been the countdown to the book, but as we know, once a book comes out, that’s not the end. That’s just the beginning. So I will continue to do videos from the wood, and I hope you’ve enjoyed this and I’d love to hear what you say.

So take care. Bye bye.