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How Not To Retire

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Opinion

How Not To Retire

There is a flow to life and if you’re lulled into the complacency of it, you can be left waiting for the next event with a longing that leaves you dulled to what is happening right now.

Counting down the years/days to retirement can be like that, the completion of a career and the beginning of time to complete items on the bucket list.

But, what if it wasn’t? Retirement, I mean. What would life be like now if retirement activities could be enjoyed in the present, instead of that time we look forward to after we’ve completed what we think we had to? What would life be like now if we took time out of a day to go eat lunch at that new restaurant by the lake? Or we took that class in Tai Chi or Economics or finally got that degree we put off while raising a family? What would it be like if we set our alarms a little bit earlier and woke up to a beautiful sunrise and a steaming mug of coffee on the deck of the cottage or the balcony or the barn that we are looking forward to enjoying when we retire?

I wondered this myself after my parents died. When all I wanted was to stop all the business of life and just take a breather … so I took on the attitude of being retired right now. And I started adding activities to my day that I had always wanted to do … the finality of their loss had changed me in a way that made the present so very precious. Death does that, if you let it. After all, death is the completion of a life; and for me it was the beginning of a life that not only honors my parents, but is a source of joy and wonder right now.

You can do it too. Instead of a bucket list that spans a lifetime, make one that spans six months, or a week or a day. Open yourself to the possibility of enjoying life right now. Take a moment to watch the hummingbird at the hydrangeas, its wings flapping invisibly as it hovers at the newly opened flowers … close your eyes and listen to the hum that gave it its name. Give yourself the gift of retirement right now in the middle of your life!

Reach Out Recovery Exclusive by Elizabeth Viszt

If you need help with addiction or mental health issues, click on the link below to explore professional resources in your area.

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Elizabeth is a certified Educational Specialist and Success Coach. She has a BA, MS in biology with a concentration in ethology (animal behavior), is an EAGALA Equine Specialist in equine assisted learning and personal development, and has extensive personal leadership skills. She spent much of her career in education at the high school, college and correctional facility levels teaching biology & chemistry and acting in the capacity of a success coach. Elizabeth presents workshops and seminars which address communication issues as they manifest in personal relationships. She uses writing as both a creative and cathartic outlet, especially after losing both of her parents to cancer in 2015. She lives in upstate NY, on a farm that bears the name of her motto: Be Unreasonable! She’s invested in empowering others in moving their pieces forward in the world.

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