Leaving footprints: our legacy



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LEAVING FOOTPRINTS: OUR LEGACY”

AUGUST 2015 – Dr. Wallace Ford, Certified Elder Mediator

RETIREMENT – THE SIXTH ADVENTURE OF LIFE



BIG CHANGES IN THE SIXTH ADVENTURE

  • Changing Bodies (slower-ness, pains, etc.)

  • Changing Worlds (world seems to become smaller)

  • Changing Minds (not as sharp as they used to be



7 POSSIBLE LOSSES/THE DARK VALLEYS OF THE SIXTH ADVENTURE



RETIREES NEED TO AVOID “NARRATIVE FORECLOSURE”

  • Feeling that “my life’s story has ended”

  • Feeling that “it is too late to live meaningfully”



IMPORTANT WORK FOR THOSE IN THEIR MID-60’S AND BEYOND


CREATING A LEGACY WORKBOOK


  • Why? To maintain our health and well-being as we age.




  • Exercise 1: Alphabet of Memories: Go through the alphabet and take time at each letter to write down a memorable enjoyable thing/experience beginning with that letter.



  • Exercise 2: Giving Away Memories: Of the memories above and other lifetime memories, decide what memories you want to give to whom? Be Specific.




  • Exercise 3: Letters of Appreciation – Write a letter of appreciation to someone(s) that have been impactful in your life. Even if you have told them before, write a note/letter and say it in writing to them.




  • Exercise 4: The Difficult Legacy – Who do I need to apologize to and ask for forgiveness? You can do this in person or in writing. You can do this, even if the person is deceased or you will not send the note. Why? This activity produces healing in us.







    • Who have I valued most in my life? (Be specific) When did this valued feeling/person first become apparent to you? Why have you valued this person/these people at different times or throughout your life?




    • What obligations have I sought to fulfill in my life?



    • What imperatives have guided my life?



    • What virtues have guided my life?



    • To whom (one or more) do I want to bestow the knowledge of these reflections on my life? How?


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