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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?