|© Nance Thacker 1991|
Over the past few weeks the implications of this reality is finally settling into my bones. 17 months ago we stepped off the treadmill and into the kind of life that many of my friends have repeatedly told me they "can only dream about".
Yet, I've resisted the "R" word. "My husband's retired, not me", I'd protest. But, the reality is that I'm not exactly employed. I've given workshops and classes here and there; many of them for free. I haven't been able to transplant my business here as effortlessly as I'd expected. I've spent more time in developing and promoting my projects (something I don't enjoy) than actually presenting them (which I love), that's the reality of starting over again. And, it's bummed me out, but clearly, enjoyment is tipping the scales against what I don't enjoy and desired financial gain.
I've railed at the idea of retirement until one day it hit me. What am I doing? What am I fighting to maintain? My aspirations for success - what I have striven for all my working life - has been defined by others and has only served to keep me discontented and clinging to a value system that I never embraced. I'm still reaching for the carrot at the end of the stick.
Wait a minute…I've got Stockholm syndrome!
I'm finally freed from my captor yet I keep on defending their notions of: value, self-worth, and responsible engagement in our social, cultural and financial structure.
Many of my friends are envious of us. How we could just pack it in and drop out? We've always lived simply and been mindful of where our money goes. It's not like we had a lot of bucks at our disposal compared to what financial analysts proclaim one needs to retire "comfortably". It is a matter of dropping all those misconceived notions of having enough.
If we waited until we "had enough" money to retire, we'd still be back in Ontario, doing what we were doing. Face it, you'll never "have enough", until you "have enough" of the striving to "have enough" and realize that you have all you really need. It's not "freedom 55" but it's enough and that's pretty good!
We came out west while we are in good health, able and young enough to do things we enjoy and discover new things along the way. I'm in the discovery phase and I can proudly say that I'm retiring my old value systems.
I'll still offer workshops and classes until I've had enough and I'll keep exploring and developing other special areas of expertise in this realm of retirement.
I used to think life was a school and so I received many lessons; now I think of it as a place to have fun and I'm enjoying it a lot more.
Retired one definition I found includes: (of a place) quiet and secluded; not seen or frequented by many people.