Planning Your Legacy
As we grow older, one issue most of us will eventually struggle with is the hope that our life has stood for something. Geriatric care professionals refer to this as the need to leave a legacy. For each of us that means something different. Understanding what that means to you and how you can go about planning your legacy might feel overwhelming. This week we’ve pulled a few ideas we think might help you get started.
5 Tips for Creating a Legacy
- Give yourself quiet time. Taking time to reflect on what is most important to you can help bring clarity. If you lost a spouse or loved one to Parkinson’s disease (PD), for example, volunteering your talent and time to an organization that supports PD research is a great way to feel as if you are making a difference.
- Resolve family conflicts. Mending fences is one of the best things you can do to give yourself peace of mind any time in your life, but it is especially true in later years. Unresolved feelings of guilt about a friendship that has lapsed or a falling out with a family member can keep you from enjoying your golden years.
- Establish your priorities. If you’ve spent your life taking care of everyone else and putting your own interests and dreams on hold, give yourself permission to spend your time with those people and activities that are the most important to you. Think about what your priorities are for this phase of your life and allow yourself to be very selective in signing on for anything that takes you away from them. Learn how to say “no.”
- Create a video blog. This might be a great project for a grandchild to help you get started. Members of the older generation in each family are often the caretakers of the family history and stories. Create a video blog on a free website that chronicles those memories for generations to come. You can set up a free blog on sites like WordPress and Webs.com and use the video on your cell phone. Add a post a few times a week starting back from your childhood memories.
- To learn more about leaving a legacy, visit your local library for a copy of the AARP book titled, AARP Roadmap for the Rest of Your Life: Smart Choices About Money, Health, Work, Lifestyle … and Pursuing Your Dreams. It can help you plan your “second act” in life.