I had a great time last weekend with my friends, who are retired (some for a few weeks, others for more than five years). I’m not retired. I probably have at least ten years of work in front of me. It seems a long time, but I’m pretty sure it will fly without me noticing.
While speaking with my friends, listening to their stories about how busy they have been since they retired made me smile. They certainly look happy and enjoy their “busy” life. They spend their time doing things they like, things of their choosing. Furthermore, they have many projects on their plate: creative projects or travelling for the most part.
My closest friend retired a few weeks ago and never thought about his work. How can this be? He’s been working at the same place for at least ten years. He was swamped and invested in his career. He had many responsibilities as a high-level director. He had some serious health issues early this year, just before his retirement, that is behind him now, which probably helped a lot to start thinking about life after work. Being able to pivot that fast from one type of life to another is quite surprising to me.
Another thing that I find pretty interesting: the notion of weekend versus weekday is murky now for them. Time is a continuum. They no longer have the repetitive routine of “going to work” five days a week and relaxing two days a week. They go with the flow. Is it different from when we were five years old? Then, we didn’t have the notion of time, so everything we did took forever. Our parents kept saying, “come on, we’ll be late for school! Hurry up!”
Life is a wide circle that is being slowly closed as we get older.
When I’m thinking about my friends and their life as retirees, I’m starting to think I’ll probably like it too. I’m just not there yet. But since time flies, even ten years from now feels like it’s after tomorrow. I’m still fully invested in my professional life, doing my best, and too busy to look beyond the next six months.