No Retirement from Life

What is it like to pack up some cards, balloons, and the last items from your desk, and walk away from a career of 35 years to a wide open field of possibilities called “retirement?”

Wow. I’m not even 35 years old yet.

My supervisor had her official last day today. She’s well into the traditional retirement age, and more than deserves some time to garden, travel, or do whatever her heart desires.

What is it like to wake up on Monday morning and not have to be anywhere? What is it like to wake up without a schedule or itinerary in mind? What is it like to turn off the alarm and ignore the weather channel? What is it like to go out late on a weeknight with no repercussions? What is it like to take off on a whim to visit a friend or relative on the other side of the country?

Retirement is hard for some people, especially men. If you are defined by what you do, who are you when you aren’t working? On the other hand, I’ve noticed that no one in the Optimist Club has had a problem adjusting to a retirement lifestyle. Maybe that’s because they’re optimists!

I know my supervisor (oops, former supervisor) will not be one to take retirement lying down. She will be cultivating a beautiful flower garden, decorating her house, reading exciting novels, volunteering for her church and other organizations, and probably selling her dynamite wardrobe to some working women’s museum.

We are not defined by what we do for a living. We get to discover and define who we are at each stage of our life. I have so many hopes and dreams for my children. One wants to be a doctor, and the other wants to be a scientist. Of course, they also want to be, at various times: artists, rock stars, super heroes, teachers, actors, fashion designers, and architects. Who knows? Maybe they’ll be able to do it all in their lifetimes. I’m not going to tell them otherwise.


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