Friday, May 18, 2007

life before retirement ...

I've recently been given an opportunity to consider something I didn't think was possible for at least another 20 years - retirement. I did not recognize the opportunity as "retirement" until just last night but now it is starting to become clear that I may well be retiring from my current career and moving onto a new phase in my life. Weird huh.

So anyhow, in talking with a girlfriend (who is also considering retirement) she brought up the idea of becoming a goat farmer. At first I thought she was kidding but then we started discussing the goat cheese industry, the tie to the wine region, and the idea of taking that retirement dream and putting it into play before traditional retirement age.

Today, I received an article, from another friend, about an IT professional who after working for a "real jerk" decided to hang it up and become a painter.

"Originally I planned to do something like this when I retired, but I didn't want to wait that long. Who knows what could happen between now and then? If there's something you really want to do, do it now."

Could it be that the idea of living life each day should expand out to the 8 - 10 or 12 hours a day we spend trying to make money?

I've always said that life is short. Yet somehow, I was also willing to sign over approximately 9.5 years of my life. Sure, looking at it that way is dramatic. But what if someone said to you at the end of your life, I am going to give you 9.5 years to do with what ever you choose. And during those years you will be young, and healthy, and full of imagination. What decision would you make.

Retirement still seems like a scary option. But perhaps in discovering what it is that I want to do, I will discover a way to enjoy every minute of those 9.5 years today so that when they ask me at the end if I need them back, I can say no " I lived them the way I wanted the first time."

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