I had the chance to interview five Japanese retired and/or semiretired former executives. They were two groups, the first group was the young-old group and the second group was the old-old group. All of them were my friend’s father’s friends and they are all living in Japan. Luckily, I was able to talk to them because at that time they were here in the State. They came here to play golf and have sightseeing. One of them even told me that they just came back from Las Vegas. They have been traveling together for over 10 years.
I have asked a few questions and they told me very interesting and valuable answers. I asked them what are the changes or the differences that happened within them before they reached 65 years old and after they aged 65 years old. They told me that they became more cautious about health. Therefore, they exercise more even though it is a challenge for them to do it every day. One of them even said that sitting around the house does not do any good at all, so one should be active and do challenging activities and be mentally fit.
I also asked them about what they can contribute to the society. The young-old group said that they are still thinking about what they can do or contribute to the society. Since they have just turned over 65 years old and are about to retire from their current positions, it might be unrealistic for them to tell what they want to do for the society. The old-old group on the other hand said that they have worked so hard when they were younger so being healthy and enjoying life to the fullest are the things that they can contribute to the society. Keeping healthy body and healthy state of mind is one way of helping the society to not spend extra government money for their welfare.
Regarding their quality of life, they have been playing golf; they travel with family and/or friends; and have spending quality time with their respective family members. One of them said that they have lost a few friends, and for this reason, their travel in the State means a lot to them. He also said that he sees to it that he has a good day everyday because he may not know that when he sleeps at night he might not wake up the next morning. So he makes it sure that in each day he has done the things that he wanted to do.
After this interview, I really felt that being healthy is the key to having a positive outlook about the aging process. The people that I have interviewed are still active but at the same time they knew from the start that someday they will not able to do the things that they want like travelling and they would not be able to do things freely and actively anymore like what they are doing now. I realized that we must take chance to enjoy life as time permits us and as long as we still have the opportunity to do so. Also, if you want to do things, do it now as long as your time and money can afford it and you have your friends with you supporting you and being with you all the way. Although everyday’s life offers challenges but these challenges makes us more courageous and through it life would be more interesting as what one of the interviewee told me.