I’m not saying slow down, I’m saying, change up.
“I determined that at sixty-five, business, properly speaking, should know me no more. On my sixty fifth birthday I woke a free man.”
–from “All Passion Spent” by Vita Sackville West
“When I retire…” We say these words all our life. We say them when we are frustrated with our job, our boss, our lack of time, not enough sleep, pining for a creative outlet. We say, “When I retire” as a threat, a promise, a dream.
Then the day comes. Whilst there are those who are thrilled, fulfilled and “ready for the next adventure,” it has become chic to squawk, “Who me? I’m never going to retire!” Insulted at the notion even.
First of all, lucky are you who arrive at 65 in a job from which you can retire. Many people are downsized, priced out and can’t get back into the workforce. And lucky are you who managed to align your heart with a job that doesn’t feel like work.
But even so, why has retirement become a dirty word? It’s not cool anymore. Why isn’t it time to stop living at work, and instead, work at living? Isn’t 40+ years at a job…enough? Gulp.
The quote above proposes the idea that you are telling the work world: “you may have no more of me,” instead of being told, “you must leave now.”
In generations past, retirement meant going gently into the good night, fading away into a pastel existence. Today retirement is an invitation to do whatever you want: start a new career or business, volunteerism, consulting, pursuing hobbies full blast, creating, writing, reading, traveling. There is an emphasis on going for the gusto, pursuing your pleasures.
Some people who haven’t saved enough throughout their working years have to keep on working. Then begins the complaining about age discrimination.
To that, I say phooey. There is age discrimination for the young too. Remember how hard it was to get your first job after college? How you had to take a shit job to get a better job?
To the complainers I say, take a clue from young people. The work world no longer operates under the rules and traditions we grew up with. Millenials have had to adapt and so must we. Millenials have changed the way we work and the way we look for work. They start their own micro businesses, they network online, they work out of hubs, they collaborate. They freelance, they consult. They hold a variety of jobs to make it financially. Or, they go to graduate school…and so might you!
The future belongs to the young. Let them have at it.
Bottom line: If you want to keep working, you’ll have to change with the times. Do your homework. Get online. Get Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Linked In. The new resume is an online website for yourself.
Ultimately it’s about having a life and an identity outside your job. Maybe you haven’t had time to develop this, so busy you’ve been juggling all those balls. Maybe you love what you’re doing and are fine with continuing on. More power to you. It’s all about choice.
Retirement doesn’t happen in one day. It’s a process — a profound transition. You’ve been in a rhythm and lifestyle for decades. It takes awhile for everything to register in your mind and heart. You need to change the parameters, refigure time, calculate money (your net worth is going to diminish instead of grow), reposition lifestyle, consider friends, pursue hobbies, and live new dreams.
Retirement is not a dirty word. In Spanish, it’s called jubilation.
Hello my lovelies! I’m curious whether you agree with me…or want to tell me to jump in a lake. (Which I’ll gladly do. I adore lakes!) Please tell us your thoughts in the comments section below. It’s the most popular part of the blog. And participating is a good thing. Please like and share this post via the clever buttons. And if you haven’t already, enter your email in the box on the right so you won’t miss a thing.