“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.
I have been obsessed with age since I was in my 30’s. I remember a summer weekend in upstate New York, at my friend Keith’s country home. After a typical, stressful week at the advertising agency, we drove from the city to find ourselves standing outside with our martinis, breathing in the sweet country air, and looking at the cows who had come up to the fence to greet us. We were healthy and attractive. Our careers were in the making. We felt powerful and invincible. Fear was unknown to us at that moment.