The Time Until Retirement

Don’t you just wish you could retire right now and just go do whatever you wanted?

I’ve said that many times, especially on work days that aren’t going that well or I’m tired and not feeling like working that day. We all say it or we say we wish we could win the lottery and then retire. The point is we’d rather be doing something other than what we’re doing right now or in general when it comes to work. I’ve come to see that this way of thinking is taking us out of living naturally and being able to experience happiness on our journey to retirement.


As hard as it is to face, when these thoughts about wishing for retirement have come to me it points out that there is something wrong with today. I’m not living my best life right now. This is deeper than what my paycheck says my time is worth too. In my own wrestling with these thoughts it is often because things are hard or challenging at the moment and I wish they were not. Or the bigger reason I usually try to ignore but it doesn’t go away is the fact I’ve been settling instead of pursuing my dreams.


We settle a lot in life. We take jobs out of necessity and settle into them for as long as possible until we need another one. We settle for friends that while we may have known them forever they gossip and don’t encourage and uplift us. We settle for what we think we’re supposed to do instead of what is in our hearts. Gulp! It’s hard to consider we have let our time become this matter of settling rather than building, creating, dreaming and pursuing. Yet when we are wishing for the passing of time thinking it will relieve our challenges and give us enjoyment in life that is exactly what we are doing! The hard truth is time is not a savings account because it doesn’t accumulate like money in our retirement accounts.


When we settle for less than what makes our sing with joy the minute we open our eyes each day we are not living out our best days now. We are settling. We have given up and traded in our time for just getting by. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes we need to just focus on getting by and through something. That is temporary and we are usually very motivated to change those situations. It is however when we settle there like a permanent residence that’s when our days string together without meaning and we start just wishing for retirement. We are wishing our time away and life is passing us by.


I believe the wishing we could just retire thoughts are loud messages that we need to be doing things differently now. It is a flashing caution sign that time is passing us by and we need to act. You can’t live your best life now or later if you’re not putting into the motion the things that make you happy. These are not material or monetary things either but rather the life changing actions we apply that make us feel our best and it radiates through us. It is the ability to smile and be happy right where we are knowing we are working towards something larger but happy to be on the journey we are to get there. Trust me it definitely makes a job you don’t necessarily love a lot more fun.


Sadly I think too much of our thinking has associated money with happiness, opportunities, and what it looks like to live our best life rather than living our best life. Certainly, money can make life more comfortable but is that all we really want? I don’t! I want things that give me memories of good things I experienced all through my life to carry with me into retirement. Why do I need to wait until retirement to laugh, smile and feel good? What does retirement have about it that prevents me from having the best of my time now? Who says I’ll have any more money to do what I want then either?


Living naturally means every day we are pursuing the things in life that make us feel good. Most of those things are right inside us now. It is finding work that awakens those feelings and lets us put forth our most creative thoughts, innovative ideas and generates good things in this world. It is waking up in the morning knowing not every day will be great but we have more good days than bad. We also know how to create more of those good days by finding things that align with how we want to live right now. It is feeling our best and knowing what we are doing now will also be a part of who we are when we retire. Time isn’t wished away for what might be but rather it is created and formed so we don’t have to just wish for it to be different in our future.


I won’t say I’m living my best life yet but I feel a lot closer to it than I have before. The more I lean into what it means to be myself and create the things in my life to support that the more it becomes possible to live my best life now. It seems more real to know everything I do today will lead me into retirement with the life I really want and know how to enjoy because I’m enjoying it now. I’m working to not wish my time away and instead I’m living every moment I can to the fullest. It is seeing life as an ever changing experiencing that can be felt now every day and not just something that happens when are retiring.


Retirement to me looks like an expansion of what I love to do now. It is some trips to places I want to see and more flexibility in my schedule but it is also extending what I love now into what I can also enjoy then. It is the time in my life where the work I have done, the career I have held and business I have built all come into view as a reflection of who I am and something I can be proud of instead of being relieved it is over. If I’m seeking relief then I don’t want to wait until retirement to have it. Discomfort doesn’t feel good so why would I wait the rest of my working days to feel better?


It starts with making the choice to do things differently and in alignment with what is right for each of us. It is then acting on those choices to manifest and create the beautiful life we each deeply want but have been too afraid to pursue and build. Working on that vision every day creates the pathway forward into a life that feels good now and in our future when it is time to retire. By that point I think our retirement becomes less about stopping something and more about expanding it. It is what I call living with time naturally now and then.


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