Retirement benefits are many but the gift of freedom in your life might be number one in my book. For most people, after forty years of working for someone, the gift of being free of a requirement to be somewhere at an appointed time is one of the best feelings you’ll ever have. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m an unusual case – I hated school and hated work. I obeyed all the rules that were in place and did very well academically and professionally, but I never liked being told where to go and what to do. I felt like I a robot changing classes when the bell sounded and rushing through the halls and getting to my locker in barely enough time not to be late for the next class. I hated homework and term papers and going to college just seemed like a continuation of the same thing. I never knew what I wanted to do and, although I did well at anything assigned to me and had steady advancement, it was never a job I enjoyed doing. I had a lot of hobbies and a great interest in exploring new things so that’s why the freedom to do exactly that was the greatest of the many retirement benefits I have received.
The ability to spend time with my wife and children was a pleasure I looked forward to every day and not commuting to work for forty minutes or more on the crowded “expressway” that I traveled every morning and evening is something I am very grateful that I do not have to do anymore. So, what do I do with my time now? The answer is whatever I feel like doing and one day varies greatly from the next. If something catches my interest, I will research it for hours at a time and learn everything I can. It’s likely that researching one subject will lead me to another and I take notes on each subject as I go. If it’s on a current topic, the end result might be a letter to a newspaper or magazine and it’s not unusual that they will publish what I have written. If anything has attracted me as a profession over the years, writing has been that activity. But never enough to have a J-O-B. I like writing on my own schedule and am fortunate enough not to have to make a living at it so that it can remain an enjoyable, creative and fulfilling activity. While many people make a nice income from all kinds of writing, I am still happy to make an occasional sale and cash a check from time to time. It’s fun and very rewarding when that happens.
It is one of the great retirement benefits that you can spend more time doing the things you like to do and pursuing the hobbies that you may have put on the back burner because of the time you spent at work. Whatever that hobby is you can renew your interest in it and make new friends doing so if that is something that appeals to you. There is so much to learn and do in this world, I admit that I do not understand how anyone can be bored. Everyone has an interest and pursuing those areas of curiosity can be one of the most enjoyable feelings there is. Take the time to do a little self-examination and you may find you have one of those areas of interest in your past. Even just a little interest in something can turn into a lifetime passion if you take the time to explore it. Woodworking and jewelry making come to mind right away because I know two people who had been a little concerned about what they would do in their retirement and are now devoting full days in their little workshops and hearing the joy in their voices as they describe their activities is a wonderful thing to hear. They have discovered something in themselves that they did know existed and that is one of the best retirement benefits there is. It’s time to Enjoy Retired Life!