Although I’m not officially retired, I haven’t worked in about nine years other than a very small online business. I get up every morning and ask myself the same question; now what? There are plenty of ways to fill your time but not all are equally satisfying.
Terri Guillemets once said that “Sometimes it’s hard to tell if retirement is a reward for a lifetime of hard work or a punishment.” I’m sure many people feel that way, especially if they’re struggling financially like myself, but it’s not only about the money.
I used to work for a guy that owned one of the largest restoration companies on Eastern Long Island. When he was well into his seventies he tried to retire and failed many times, preferring to work until he died.
I have a friend in Strasburg who is 78 years old and the best motorcycle mechanic in Pennsylvania. Until very recently, he worked six days a week, sometimes 12 hours a day by choice. The last time I saw him he told me he was retiring for good, but I have a feeling he’s back in his shop with a garage full of bikes and a smile on his face.
Both of these people had more money than they needed, but neither was the type to sit around and do nothing. When you retire you need a reason to get up in the morning, something to not only fill your time but to fill your life.
As hard as it may be to believe, especially if you’re nowhere near retirement age, doing nothing all day is not easy. Even Eckhart Tolle got tired of sitting around after a couple of years.
In Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, Pooh says: “Don’t underestimate the value of doing nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”
When you’re three years old that may be great advice, but unless you drink heavily (not recommended) it’s not so great when you no longer have a job to go to and complain about for eight hours. Ah, those were the days…