Cycle of Life

All of our life we can’t wait for the next big thing to happen.  When we’re very young we want to be like our older sisters or brothers.  When we’re preteen we want to be just like the older teenagers.   I remember well my Mom’s words, “when you get older you can do this, or you can do that”, so older became magical.  It was something as a child you were always striving for.  Then you became a teenager, driving age what an achievement, you were an adult!  What an accomplishment.  Then it was your first job, wow, you were definitely growing up.  That was good because as you grew older you were able to do more and more of what you were told when you were younger that you couldn’t do.  Driving, voting, drinking at a bar, OMG, how could it get any better!

Now thinking back my teenage years of the 70’s they were nothing like today.  I have no idea how today is, except for the conversations with the grandkids and they certainly seem different.  I thought I couldn’t grow up fast enough, now the kids seem to be grown up earlier and are missing even more of their childhood than we did.

Once you were in your late teens, “kids” were either going off to college, the Service, or to their first job.  I continued on to college locally and worked part-time, but I still lived at home.  So although I was an adult, I will still living under my parents roof and if I wanted to continue to live there I followed their rules.  Yes, there was a curfew back then, not imposed by the law, but imposed by my parents, and yes I obeyed, who would have thought otherwise.  Then P/T work turned into F/T work, dating and eventually getting married.

Even married there was the next goal.  At that time it was not geared toward getting older, but hitting other targets such as buying your first house, having children and setting your sights on their goals and aging.   Then the cycle started all over again.  While your children couldn’t wait to get older, you’re now starting to look and say, wait!  As they are getting older than I’m getting older and I’ve already hit 29 multiple times, when does it all stop!  As we know, it doesn’t stop, they cycle of life keeps going.

Some are lucky enough to be married to the same person all their life, while others it might take them a time or two to find the right one,  but during these times the kids are growing up and can’t wait to be older, and we’re saying it’s OK to slow things down a little, of course that doesn’t happen.  So as the kids go off to college and our hair is starting to turn grey (or get a little thinner) we’re now looking at the next stage in life, retirement.  The finances are reviewed more often, goals and targets are set, and the anticipation of now achieving that next stage in life – When can I quit my job and not have to work another day in my life – Retire!

I made that time and I’m now here.  I am now retired about 2 months – a whole 60 days.  I am far from being an experienced retiree  and have not even began to skim the surface, but I have learned one thing and it’s real important.  Once you know when you want to retire you need to have a plan.  What I mean is that you can’t quit one day and wake up the next and say what am I going to do now – it’s too late then.  If you have a hobby be prepared to embrace it.  If you don’t have a hobby but want to start one, be prepared to move forward.  If you want to ge more involved with your church, volunteer at the library or hospital, get these things lined up.  You can not and should not sit at home all day watching TV or playing games on the computer.  You didn’t go thru all the ups and downs and good and bad of life to get to this stage of  your life to sit on your ass and do nothing.  The 65-year-old is the new 45!  Do something with yourself.  If not you will become depressed and a mean and angry person.  People will not seek you out, you seek out life.

I know not everyone can afford luxury vacations, or 2 homes, but there is plenty to do out there that doesn’t cost much and will keep you healthy and happy.  This is our ultimate goal in life.  We have given and supported and sacrificed.  We have taken our lumps and dished it out.  We have worked those 60 and 70 hour weeks, been stressed about family and concerned about how to support them, it’s now our time to shine.  Retirement is our time to do what we want to do.  We can choose to do what makes us happy because  reality, if you don’t do it now, when are you going to do it.  There’s not that many “around the next corner” moments left so go for it, take that new road of adventure and enjoy it as much as you can.

Enjoy your travels, we deserve it, we should enjoy it and let’s hope our retirement road goes on for many years to come, enjoy your travels……..

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