There comes a point when you just know it’s time to make the change. When the past that led to the present needs a new direction. That change in attitude led me to a change in latitude.
When word got around work (the place I used to go each day) that I was going to retire one of my colleagues said that I was too young to retire. I was (am) 62. I thought, are you kidding, I’m too old not to retire!
For thirty plus years getting back and forth to work took at least three hours a day. Even with the summers at sea I figure my commute took me 540,000 miles back and forth. Roughly 3.3 times to the moon.
New commute on left. Old commute on the right
My colleague wasn’t alone. I was getting the impression that people associated retiring with stopping. That somehow if you retired all that was left was sitting and waiting for the inevitable and I’m not talking taxes.
These people somehow equated full days, a full life, with going to work. Even the best job, and I had a great job, is still a job. Let’s face it, most people go to work every day because they get paid to do it. Would you commute 2-4 hours a day, every day, if they didn’t pay you to be there? Would you put up with “that guy” everyday if there wasn’t a check involved?
Retirement allows choices, the opportunity to take a different road every day. The road that you choose, not the one chosen for you. Maybe it’s the road less traveled. Maybe it’s the road that leads to a new adventure or just that quiet place you like.
Every day is as full, or empty, as we choose to make it. You can sit at the window and watch life pass by or you can jump on your bike and see what’s around the next bend, over the next hill.
Yesterday and today we were cleaning brush around the bottom of our new property, cleaning up the wild growth of many years. That may not sound like fun to you but it was to me. In fact, I discovered the little creek running along the base of the field had small trout in it. How cool!
This is what makes me happy; this is the place I want to be. The shackle of ‘have to’ has been removed. If you take advantage of it, retirement allows us all to find our own happy place. Whatever and where ever that is: pulling brush, going to the beach or volunteering at the shelter. The working life required you to do things at the behest of others, to do things for money. Now you get to do things for you. Happiness can be found in a small Rocky Mountain stream.
Carpe diem, run ‘til you drop. That’s what I intend to do.