The MW dictionary defines retiring as: "the act of withdrawing from one's position or occupation or from actively working"
I have never really considered retiring. I think the main reason has been that for the majority of my working years I have been my own boss, run my own companies and worked for myself, so I have to ask myself what is it exactly that I would be retiring from?
I have also wondered what it is that i would actually "Do" differently in the interesting state of retirement. For if i didn't have some project each day to get back to or start I think i would wither and die.
This I think this is the crux of the matter - i work for myself on projects I design and decide to work on and change my "work" as necessary to fulfill my need to feel productive while filling a need or niche and in turn, hopefully, my work enables me to support my family.
So what is retirement? I think retirement is the leaving of a job that no longer feels fulfilling. I think retirement is leaving a job where you no longer feel appreciated.
I think retirement is leaving...leaving to hopefully move on to something that feels more rewarding and worthwhile.
I know what retirement isn't. Retirement at least from what i have seen with friends who have retired from their careers or positions- retirement is not sleeping in in the morning. Retirement is not suddenly finding yourself with more time on your hands. Retirement is not so many things one hears and is lead to believe.
I think what retirement can be and hopefully will be for those in traditional jobs or careers is a change from something not necessarily as rewarding as it once was to something very fulfilling.
Retirement can and should be a place a state of mind an attitude and an opportunity to review and renew. A chance to rediscover what is important to you and what it is that you want to learn and work on for the next segment of your adult life.
Personally I know I will never retire in the traditional manner. What i will do is continue to reevaluate and reconsider. I will pursue more of what is important to me as a human being, as a woman and as a citizen of this planet. I do know as I near that third act (thank you Jane Fonda for that wonderfully correct description!) as i approach this third act of mine I am enjoying changing directions to pursue what feels right to me, to find as the great writer and teacher Susan Wittig Albert says "your true voice", while also finding ways to support myself.
As a woman I belong to a wonderful tribe- a tribe that is filled with wonderful role models and guides. Sisters who help and encourage and are there to say what the heck are you thinking of while at the same time saying well done, bravo for thinking. I embrace my femaleness in an entirely new way as I near this third act and am once again thankful to be a member of the tribe of women.
Retirement redefined as seeking new directions to fulfill the soul- that works for me every day~