Resilience

I remember a song, I think from the 1960s, with the refrain:

…and like a rubber ball I come bouncing back to you…..

I will leave it to anyone interested enough to go and google the singer, the year of release etc.. You can let me know the answer.

I want to talk now about resilience and leave rubber balls behind. A very general definition of resilience might be that resilience and adversity are opposite sides of the same coin, therefore inseparable.

You might also add that the aim of resilience is to deal with adversity, by the twin methods of protection and adaptation, with a view to achieving a positive outcome. The way in which you frame the adversity is important: some people have a tendency to create catastrophic, yet imaginary, outcomes; whilst others seem to be optimistic and less fearful. The ways in which you protect yourself; physically and psychologically will also count: either positively or negatively.

What exactly counts as adversity is a deeply personal matter, as is what might constitute a positive outcome. But however you look at it, I would suggest that resilience is a process rather than an isolated event; therefore a skill (if I can call it that) which you can seek to perfect over time; particularly in your later years.

Additionally, some authors argue that prior to a potential adverse outcome, any individual may choose to deal with the risk of that undesirable outcome. This is presumably one of  the main reasons why older people frequent the gym, visit the doctor etc.

Retirement potentially poses adversity to the individual (it may not of course), hence resilience should be brought into the equation. Perhaps one way to practice this skill of resilience in older age is to examine options; and who better to discuss these with than a retirement coach.

Retirement: You won’t know what it is like until you get there.

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