Remember that old expression “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade?” Well, sometimes life hands you lemonade when you were just fine looking at the lemon tree sitting in your backyard.
When an unexpected opportunity arises, perhaps out of the ashes of some change you’ve made, what do you do? What if you get a great early retirement offer (you lucky dog, you), and you’re getting set for some leisure time, when suddenly your actual dream job opens up? Do you take it or stay on your relaxation path? Personally, I have to jump on it and hold on until I can’t ride that pony any longer, but we are all different.
I have some friends who planned very well, have a couple of pensions, and are wondering what to do with all the money they are making in retirement, but they still have very strong ambitions. What a beautiful problem to have! One now paints professionally and shows his artwork. Another is a competitive golfer, and both are still in their 50s. I don’t know if this is still possible to do in our world now, but it’s a great model for those wondering how to create a successful and fulfilling retirement.
In France, the retirement age is 62, and with the economy hurting, President Macron wants to raise that age to 64, which has a lot of people very upset. Now, I understand that having the retirement age suddenly changed by the government could seem harsh. We all know that there is more to life than working, and I know many people who are very, very happy in retirement.
For my part, however, I want to keep working for as long as I can. It’s important to keep busy at something, and for me that something also has to have a value beyond the money attached to it.
I work very hard to make the world a better place – one person, one column, one organization, at a time. I can’t stop putting out these words. This process has become part of my DNA. It makes me feel better than lying on a beach in Maui. Now that’s just me, and yes, I get a little remuneration for my efforts, but mostly it’s knowing that I’m touching so many people’s lives.
Everyone has to find their own balance and way of getting through each stage of life. When you’re very young, you may think about retiring young with millions of dollars. Great if you can get there, but why stop growing just because you have money? It might be better to stay on a path that fulfills you throughout your life.
The French are right; there is more to life than working. There’s contributing, creating and continuing to enrich your mind and share that with others — and of course, you can do this in your retirement years as well.
But I’m not quitting any time soon.
I continue to be grateful for all the feedback I receive from my readership. It inspires me to give the best of myself, to walk my talk and to humbly honor every word I share.
Dr. Barton Goldsmith is an award-winning psychotherapist and humanitarian. He is also a columnist, the author of eight books, and a blogger for PsychologyToday.com with more than 34 million readers. He is available for video consults world-wide, reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. His column appears Saturdays and Mondays in the News-Press.