By Saran Kaur Gill | OPINION | MALAYSIA |
Many of us have spent 30 – 40 years of our lives working in organisations or being homemakers. Our identities are linked to the institutions that we work for and / or to the families that we care for.
When we turn 50, and sometimes later, many of us retire from work and also have our children leave home to further their studies, work abroad or to get married and lead their own lives. It is common at this phase of our lives to feel a sense of emptiness through a loss of institutional identity and the empty nest syndrome.
We need to remind ourselves that we still have a good 30 years of our lives to live. Don’t let age change you. Change the way you age! Therefore it is important to maximise this valuable phase of our lives – to have purpose in our lives, to have fun and laughter in our lives.
My team from the Youth Development and Life Long Learning (YDLL) of Ekta Club of Kuala Lumpur & Selangor and I feel so privileged to have launched the Joy Club at Gurdwara Sahib Subang (GSS).
EKTA is an NGO that has provided a platform for Punjabi Sikh professional women to socialise and develop fellowship and more importantly to give back to society through four sub committees – welfare, legal, medical and YDLL. The Ekta YDLL sub-committee focuses on youth development and life-long learning.
Let me take you back a little bit in time – how did this begin?
Darshan Phenji (Head of Community Development, GSS) sowed the seed of an innovative idea and reached out to me on the 17th September 2019, with the following message:
“Gurfateh Profji, we intend to set up a Seniors Club. As a preamble, can you conduct a special session that while focusing on the mental and physical health can encourage and vitalise those above 50 to be active and participative as a group? Remind them that they still have lots to share and enjoy in life beyond the home.”
I was excited. Life after retirement from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) has been very exciting and interesting – and I have always wanted to share my experiences with others – to motivate them to live the 30 or so years ahead of them with energy and happiness.
So I replied: “What a brilliant idea Phenji! I am 67 and enjoying my life – never imagined that this phase of my life could be so interesting. Let me get back to you next week.”
And Darshan ji said: “Sure dear … N hooray … I am 71 and I agree!!”
When like-minded people meet and are willing to work together sincerely and honestly, magic can happen.
And magic did happen – firstly, this led to the workshop session on “Energising Your life at 50+” on the 10th November 2019 at Gurdwara Sahib Subang. We had 54 enthusiastic participants.
It was such an energising session – I truly admire the energy and spirit of the participants!
Darshan Phenji was overwhelmed by the support and enthusiasm shown by members in the workshop.
She said: “The workshop empowered the members to suggest practical activities to help meet their growing needs. The burst of ideas, positivity and enthusiasm of the participants will boost the setting up of a seniors club.”
Leadership is very important but more important is the people’s belief that this is of value to them and they are willing to contribute. This is exactly what happened at the workshop and we are here today for the launch of The Joy Club.
Everyone who hears the name says it is so innovative and so apt – congratulations on such an innovative name. The Joy Club will bring you knowledge, that will strengthen you physically and mentally through various activities and as you contribute and participate in them, you will create friendships, giggle and laugh together and create happiness leading always to JOY.
I feel humbled and privileged to launch the Joy Club – for just older youths! Waheguru’s blessings always for the success of this Club. Success can be achieved by taking small meaningful steps and creating lots of Joy along the way!
[Dr Saran Kaur Gill, a former deputy vice chancellor of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, is the Chair of EKTA YDLL. For Gurdwaras and Sikh Associations interested in providing the workshop on “Energising Your Life@50+” for their sanggat, they can contact Dr Saran @ 012-2360019 or Ms Indergeet Kaur @ 017-2823496]
How to energise your life at 50 and beyond? (Asia Samachar, 27 Nov 2019)
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