Thursday, November 30, 2017

Cartwheels In My Mind

Every day I am asked if I am counting down the days until I retire.  I am not consciously doing it but for the record I have 29 actual work days to complete.  Most people, regardless of age, dream of retirement.  Let’s be honest.  The majority of people wouldn’t work if they didn’t need to do so.  People, however, get attached to things like housing, heat, food, running water, and indoor plumbing.  If you value these things you probably have to work for them for most of your life.  People assume that I am doing cartwheels in my mind now that I am finally retiring.  I can’t deny that I am looking forward to it and each day I am reminded how happy I will be to no longer have to perform or worry about work related chores.  I don’t want to offend anyone but I also look forward to not having to deal with people on a daily basis with their various personalities and idiosyncrasies.  Although I am a people person, the real me is more of a solitary hermit.  There are moments when I think I should have stayed in the monastery but even in the monastery you have to deal with all kinds of people.  Don’t misunderstand me.  I like people and I generally care about others.  I just find other people exhausting a great deal of the time.  This is more about my personality than their behavior.  I look forward to the mental and physical freedom of not having to work every day.  However, when a person retires they are giving up more than a regular paycheck.  Working has been part of my lifestyle for my entire adult life.  Many people don’t know who they are when you take work out of the equation.  We tend to think we are what we do.  Personally, I have never believed that.  Working has always just been something I do and it is not who I am.  How I work is a truer reflection of who I am.  Leaving the workplace means giving up some structure in my life as well as leaving behind some friendships that will be challenging to maintain without the shared experience of working together.  I will no doubt have some days when I wonder if I did the right thing.  At the same time my heart tells me it is time.  I have run the race and I have made it to the finish line.  It is time for the next phase of my journey whatever that turns out to be.  Soon the book of my life will begin a new chapter and the blank pages will fill up with other adventures.  What will they be?  I have some ideas and thoughts but no new commitments on the horizon.  The story is not over yet.  Who knows what awaits me?          

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