“I’m ready to retire before I’ve even started my career.”
Who can’t relate to that? Work is a difficult concept to understand, especially when we are young and see an endless number of days stretch before us where we have to clock in. The trouble is that it’s sometimes hard to differentiate between living to work and working to live. Which side of that do we want to be on? The answer probably depends on how happy we are with our job.
Still, no matter how much we love our job…. and let me say here that I love writing and being a mom in a way I never did when I was a marketing manager… no matter how much, there are always going to be pieces of it that are tedious but have to get done anyway. And it is probably these tasks that the young Starbucks barrista was referring to when she laughed about wanting to retire early.
This is the reason I think winning the lottery would not be nearly as life-changing as many imagine. I would never be content to sit on a beach and read books. Sure it would be fun for a while…. But at some point I would want to begin editing them or marketing them or writing my own. And, if Iwant to do the job is it still considered work?
Yesterday my husband and I met with a financial consultant to begin planning for our own, eventual and may years off, retirement. What do we want it to be like; we were asked. Huh! Well… I’d like to have a house in Italy. But let’s say I could afford that… what would I do then? Would I still want to write…. Of course. Would I want the Italian villa to be turn-key…probably not; I’d want to work on it to make it my own.
In little and big ways, each question raises the idea that retirement doesn’t necessarily mean giving up work entirely… perhaps it only means that we control the work we do in a way that we can’t when we are clocking in and out of a day job.
And this makes me wonder if the choice isn’t the most important thing of all. We can’t always choose th work we have to do, but a we can choose our goal in doing that work. This then is how I would define a retirement state
of mind; and it can be applied at any point depending on the perspective we have on our work.
So, from that standpoint we can all retire early…. in fact, the sooner the better. And maybe the best time of all could in fact turn out to be before we ever even start our career.
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