The dictionary’s synonyms for retirement sound bleak — pullout, retreat, withdrawal. Related words are even worse — recoil, rout, disengage. And how about these uplifting phrases – seclude oneself, sever connections. Antonyms to retirement connote positivity — advancement, increase, join, begin.
This retirement season may be trickier to navigate than we thought.
Of course Joy and I (Barclay) counted the years. It’s the American Dream. Only 8 more years. 5 more. Only 2!! We can do this. Then BAM…it happened. 2017.
And we left our posts with fanfare. Joy had a reception with applause, cake, and a speech. I had no less than 5 celebrations — one on a boat! Much toasting and clinking.
Then the limelight left and reality settled in.
Our nests are empty. Our kids don’t return our texts. Facebook boasts photos of babies with 2 month plaques; soccer kids holding trophies; engagement photos that look like they came from a frame in Target’s home decor aisle. Our FB pictures consist of us and a glass of wine.
Our mom-hood days are over. We’ve never been less needed. Our to-do list gets done. By noon. And annoyingly, no one bats an eyelash when we say we’ve retired. “No, that just couldn’t be; you’re too young!”
But let it be said, we are the lucky ones. We GET to retire.
Yes, we scrimped and saved. But things worked out. We were not downsized (at least that often). Our 401ks survived the recession; Social Security and Medicare are not yet on life support.
So we’re grateful — AND we’re going to take issue with Merriam Webster.
May we never sever.
May we refuse to seclude.
Instead, we will advance and engage! In what, who the hell knows — and there lies the tricky part.
My dad, a retired Pan Am pilot, said you have to earn your weekend. In other words, leisure is only fully enjoyed when preceded by labor. Someone else observed that lobster starts tasting like soap when you’ve overindulging.
So join Joy and me, your Baby Boomer retirement partners, as we embark on a mission to discover new passions, create new opportunities, and hopefully along the way, earn our leisure and our lobster.
Today’s Takeaway –
- Take a Gratitude Walk. Check out birds, colors, trees. Count 10 blessings. Silence any whining or worry that tries to creep into your brain.
- And if you can’t think of anything you’re thankful for, be grateful you’re breathing!
Enjoy the ride!
xox, Barclay and Joy