I never use the word, retire.
The only time the word retire appears in the bible is as an act of punishment, yet we treat it like a trophy. there are just so many of us that deeply long and stake our lives on it, but maybe we should revisit its meaning. Take another look at what the act of retirement means and why so many want to. What does retirement say about us and our desires? When we find ourselves longing for our turn, aren’t we simply saying that we are simply unhappy with what what we are currently doing? That we cannot wait for rid ourselves of the burden that imprisons us right now? That we dream of a day where we no longer have to work?
At second glance, which requires some retrospection, does the word retirement concern our future, or reveal much about the present? It seems retirement provides far less insight about where we want to go, but is a great mirror in terms of where we are, and where we are, is usually not a great place, because we want to be somewhere else.
B.B. King never retired. He played Lucille, his beloved guitar, right til the very end. He played it when he was poor and unknown. He played the blues when he was famous and no longer worried about his financial situation. He played when he was healthy, and as he got on in years, he played it when he was not well. He practically died on the road, not because he was stubborn, but because he loved what he was doing.
Do you love what you are doing? Would you do it if nobody paid you, or nobody noticed what you were up to? You can answer honestly, because no one will hear you, even I won’t know what you are thinking.
If you don’t love what you are doing, or if you don’t love the life you are living, what do you think is going to be different tomorrow, or on the day that you retire? Do you think that the meaning of your existence is waiting for you on the day you no longer have to go to work? Do you think it will be pleasant to stop suddenly and have no place to go. It can be a very frightening thing to face, but it doesn’t have too be like that.
If you are constantly longing to get away on vacations from the life and work you have, you need to seriously consider, that since this is the only life you have, maybe you should instead build and fight for a life you never want to be parted from.
Retirement is a curse. It is a burden you don’t want to long for. No, changing directions won’t be easy. Finding the courage to pursue things that makes you happy and feel giddy and joyful inside won’t come without sacrifice. It will mean that you can never stop, but why would you, since you shouldn’t want to stop living either.
Don’t dream of a life you are going to have one day, when the stars align, and you have enough to life your life to the fullest. It’s nothing but a fantasy. Never use the word. Find ways instead, to make this day, and everyone that follows matter.