Time to Retire Or Retread?

It used to be – across the board – when  you reached a certain age – you retired. Ah yes, you  had reached the promised land and for the rest of your life you could do nothing, or something of your own choosing. In your mind, the years stretched ahead like  holiday lights on a string and you were in a celebratory mood. But then, the lights began to dim and the string stretched out more and more and what happened to that party, anyway?

I’ll tell you what. Time, like any good thing, became too  much and you couldn’t use  it all up. You know, left overs are good the next day or so ,but after that you seriously think about pitching them. Easier said than done as I, and many of us who have been growing older disgracefully, have found out.

On the other hand, if you took early  retirement, so to speak, and planned to find a second career for yourself,  you might just be ahead of the game. For example, if you spent your life behind a desk crunching numbers ,and were feeling down for the count, this might be your moment or many moments, in fact, to do something entirely different. Of  course your physical condition might impact your choice, but setting that aside, maybe this is the moment to consider life  as a ski instructor or maybe, after watching the Academy Awards, you realize that it’s not too late for a few acting lessons, leading to a career  trodding the boards. as we say.

The point is- and there is a point, as always, to my rambles, retiring too early  is not a fast track to the yellow brick road which, when your feet are traversing it, stretches on and on and  on – get my drift? You need a destination. The part of your life, which is behind you, was probably filled with all sorts of things and you had a focus – places to go, people to see and you moaned and groaned, but you were never at loose ends finding ways to kill the time, which you never seemed to have.

We are growing older but we are the young old, and we may fill a rocking chair once in a while, but our minds haven’t gone to sleep. So,we must find ways to occupy ourselves. To keep on working, if we’re able and willing, is one cause for gratitude. To retire at will and not when society wills it, is another. Retirement should have meaning and every day should be part of that string of holiday lights . Really, what ‘s more glorious than the words,  I’ve got the world on a string? My world? Or your world? Or just the whole darn world?

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