Another alteration came when I had the opportunity to attend college. I’d always dreamed of being able to go, but between children and funds, it wasn’t happening! Then, to our surprise, an opportunity presented itself and I couldn’t pass it up. I started the same year as our youngest child started college, again not part of the “plan,” but life has a way of changing things when you least expect it!
Needless to say, college changed everything! It meant not going on the road full time since I’d be in college at least six months of the year! So during some of the winter months, my husband found himself traveling without me. That wasn’t an ideal situation, but once I started my journey in college, I was determined to see it through, especially since I loved being a student! It was a dream come true.
What does it really mean to retire? I read a quote recently: “While there are lots of books available on retirement, the only book that really matters is the one that you write yourself!”1 It’s largely in perspective. I’ve heard many "near" retirees say they were looking forward to doing all those things they didn’t have time to do once they retired; but then once retired, found themselves busier than while they were working!
There are those who retire, who move to a sunny beach and call life “done” except for what is done in their leisure time….. at their leisure! Others will retire from a fulltime steady job and work part time somewhere else. Others, like the Amish community, doesn’t consider retirement at all. Oh they might work a little less, but mostly the men will work right up until they are no longer physically able to do so!
I can’t picture myself in “retirement.” My AA degree in college was Early Elementary Education. I love teaching both young ones and I discovered, just after I graduated, I enjoyed working with college students as “supplemental instructor,” as well. Somehow it just suits me. I’m happy there. That said, having a classroom is totally unlikely! Partly because I don’t have the required courses, but also, because I don’t desire having a classroom. Yet, I find when I am writing, I am also, often “teaching.” It’s just how I write.
My desire is to do something fundamentally good. I want to make a difference in people’s lives. If I STOP writing, because I’m going to “retire,” then I will no longer be nearly as productive. Being productive helps keep my mind alert, my heart focused and keeps the desire to help others, alive and well!
Whoever wrote that quote: “While there are lots of books available on retirement, the only book that really matters is the one that you write yourself” might be right! It’s has to feel right to you. Each person must decide what is important, because each person has to be true to himself!
I challenge you to consider your “retirement” if you haven’t already! What are your plans? How will you spend your time? Will you find ways to help other people and stay productive or will you choose to just “enjoy” the time you now have available? Does it even make a difference to you? Life has a way of making the choices for us if we don't decide and prepare!