Howdy folks. Ed here.
My friends, who are still working, often ask me: “So Ed, how’s retirement?” I trust they are asking this question because they are interested in how I’m doing since I took my leave from a profession I loved for over thirty years. I also suspect people ask this question to get reassurance from someone they know that the status we call “retired” equates to being inspired, and not expired. My response to the “how’s retirement” question is always the same: “ retirement is what you make it.” It’s your choice.
How do you spend your time?
In addition to the “How’s retirement” question, non-retired people seem insistently interested in getting confirmation of what retired people do all day now that we aren’t shortening our lives with the added stresses and pressures of career responsibilities.
Inquiring minds want to know: “Are you traveling to new and exotic places? Do you have a new hobby? Are you spending more undistracted time with your family and friends? Are you pursuing a new vocational interest or donating some of your free time to worthy causes? Does your retirement wardrobe include a mint green jumpsuit with Velcro® strips instead of buttons?” (I’ve never actually been asked this last question, but sometimes I fear people are thinking it.) My response to all the above questions (except the last one) is “yes.” Retirement is like an all you eat buffet. Unlike work life where someone else decides what’s on the dinner menu, I get to pick and choose what activities and interests are on my daily activity plate – a combination of healthy, active, educational, and restful pursuits – plus lots of treats.
People also ask me: “Do you miss your career life?” My answer is “yes and no.” I don’t miss the politics, but I do miss the people. I feel fortunate in that I loved what I did for a living every day of my career. I’m finding I’m beginning to feel the same way about my new endeavor – retirement.
Until next time, plan as if you’ll live forever and live as if you’ll die tomorrow.