Retirement-AKA Death by Boredom…

So, there it finally was, the ultimate goal that almost every working soul dreams about, and has as their ultimate goal in life…retirement!

The word itself conjures up images of a vacation that never ends. No more alarm clocks, no “have to do’s”, no long hours, no sacrifice, just that blissful “I am on vacation” feeling that will never end.

Kind of like rolling back the clock and BAM! You are once again like a kid, without a care in the world.

Well of course that’s the fantasy and then there is the reality, (and never the twain shall meet).

So, we have already outlined the fantasy, but what about the reality of retirement?

The research I did was kind of discouraging.

  • Verbal memory specifically declined 38% faster after retirement than before retirement.
  • A study found that those who retired at 55 and lived to be 65, died 37 percent sooner than those that retire at 65.
  • Among normal retirees, lower status workers were more likely to die within 3 years of retirement than higher status workers, who were more prominent among deaths 4 to 5 years after retirement.
  • The life expectancy for men in the United States is 78.54 years

Well, if the stats don’t lie, then within a few short years after retirement you will probably be dead, and if you are lucky enough to live you will probably no longer be able to communicate with anyone since your mind is gone!

And whatever you do, just don’t be a blue-collar worker, that apparently is also the kiss of death!

Well shit!

No wonder so many retirees sit around and drink and party like there’s no tomorrow, because there isn’t!

So, what the hell is up with retirement that literally makes it a death sentence? (No pun intended)

Well, it may be that it’s all wrapped up in two things:

  • First, we are pretty dam smart animals (I can’t vouch for you, but as of today I think my verbal skills are not already gone so I still feel smart), so we probably would die of boredom if we just sat around our entire short life. We are driven to find purpose in doing something, in other words, we are driven to create! We are at our best when we are engaged and challenged.
  • Second, early brainwashing! From day one we are taught to work, you know, schoolwork, homework, then get a job and go to work. Since our early life training is all mixed up with the Protestant work ethic (work hard if you want to get into heaven), we are indoctrinated into believing we must spend our lives doing something productive (“idle hands are the devil’s workshop”) or we just will not feel fulfilled.

So since we were programmed at a very early age, there is probably no way we can dodge that bullet, we just have to follow the heard and do what everybody else is doing right?

Well not really but more on that later!

So, who dreamed up this retirement concept anyway, and why?

Well personally I think it’s a government conspiracy. I mean how the heck is society going to get you to sacrifice almost your entire life without some powerful seductive reward to promise you in return.

So, you work your ass off for 40 years or so and then retire and kick back and go on that blissful permanent vacation. However, as we have already seen, the problem is that your health and your brain are probably not going to make that trip with you.

Now the next shoe drops….

In your current retired state with brain and health issues, let’s face it, you are just a drain on your family, your friends, and the economy, so its hurry up and die will ya!

Now if you have been following my rant you probably think that I am pissed off at life, and negative on this whole work-retirement lifepath, and of course part of me is.

The other part of me knows that just charging around the countryside trying to fight windmills with a pointed stick (Don Quixote), is just not going to get me anywhere.

So, upon much thought I have decided….

Just screw it!

I am not going to just blindly follow the heard and the statistics, I going to survive retirement.

I mean it seem like it’s just a matter of finding the right perspective about life. If we have drawn this short straw and there is no other choice, then learn to love the inevitable, love the process, and squeeze the richness of life from every moment!

And then burn like the brightest star in the sky!

If you hate what you have chosen to do in life and are only waiting for retirement, then you truly have drawn the short straw and I don’t know how to ease your pain, so my advice is…

Just get over it!

For the rest of us retirement survivors, there really are only 2 choices:

  • Take whatever you are passionate about whether it’s a hobby or some skill you always wanted to lean, but never had the time, and make it your job. Then put the passion you had for success in your first career and create an awesome 2nd career!
  • Or don’t retire, just keep doing what you do until you drop!

Well I did love the success and reward that came from my first career as a real estate and later a business promoter but hey, maybe it’s time to put that career to bed and take on a new challenge.

Time to grow!

I mean new is good right? I have seen so many people that get stuck in a rut in life, doing the same thing over and over, every day, every month, every year.

Where is the joy in that?

So, for my next career in life, I decided to take on a couple of objectives that I am passionate about, one is to become a writer as you can see from what I am trying to do here. The next is to learn how to sing (not just in the shower but in a semi-professional way) and last since Julie and I will be spending a lot of time in Mexico I want to learn Spanish well enough that I am completely fluent.

Heck I may even sing some Spanish songs, I mean look what Julio Iglesias did!

So in summary I guess the bottom line is…..

I will take the richness of life from every moment!

I think that the author Ursula K. Le Guin said it the best:

“It is good to have a end to journey toward; but it the journey that matters in the end”

No matter what we do in life or for how long we do it, the reward is the journey itself. The richness of life is all in what we create and experience in our hours, days, and years.

Es verdad si?


About Marc Barrett

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