Learning how to retire or forgetting how to work for someone else:


I have been retired for almost 8 years and have to say life is great. I work occasionally but never to the point of not enjoying what I am doing, exercise on a regular basis, watch TV and read when I want to. In other words, unlike the second part of my life when I worked for someone else, I decide when and what to do as part of the ‘I’ generation!
Being a realist, I know that society will only function when everyone does his part, much like a giant bee hive with worker bees and the queen. In order for our giant, complex industrial machine and its workers to continue functioning, we must all play our roles. A portion of our lives is given to society in exchange for a salary. Hopefully, the job we choose (or are given) brings us fulfillment and joy. However, many times this is not the case. I know many people who loathe going to work and accordingly live only for the weekends. On the other hand, I was lucky enough to find an enjoyable career and was somewhat competent at it.
For me, retirement was an easy transition because I have always been self-motivated and have more hobbies and projects than I care to count. Predictably, retirement was easy. Many of my friends who are approaching retirement express fear at the notion of having so much FREE time. Having had someone else dictate to them when and where they spend their FREE time for so many years, they find themselves unable to entertain themselves! If you take a careful look at the way we raise our children, it seems as though we are conditioning them to be reliant on someone else to map out their days. During my childhood, there were some organized sports but not like today’s world of year-around activities to keep the children occupied throughout the year. The old adage that, the idle mind is the devil’s workplace, seems to be the motivation for this barrage of activities. Returning to the issue of retirement, maybe our childhood may be seen as training for retirement. Could the difference between today’s generation and previous generations be that in the past they repeatedly made their own decisions on how they used their time; whereas, we allow someone else to decide how we spend our time in exchange for money to buy goods. If this is true, when we do retire we will likely need to relearn, just like a child, how to entertain ourselves! Most retired people I meet seem to do well with this change in lifestyle, although some simply fade into inactivity when left to their own devices. I can remember so many times when I was working that an activity arose and I had to say, “I can’t go.” Now, I choose to enjoy every moment the way I want to. I have grown tired of hearing the word, ‘retirement,’ because it does not describe my life. I simple have changed paths: work when I want, play when I want and relax when I want.

shoe sales man


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