I was chatting with a friend (a very wise friend) this week, and I mentioned to her that I thought I could get pretty comfortable with a retiree’s lifestyle when that time comes. You know – lunches with wine, afternoons puttering around a boat, travel and general free time.
My friend had the opposite reaction. She’s not sure if she ever wants to retire. She’s got about ten years more than me under her belt in the working world already, and she’s looking for more. Here’s her secret. She thinks of a job or a career not as something to be gotten through, but something to be enjoyed along the way. She’s always interested in learning something new. She’s always up for trying something different. Surely this not only makes her happier, but better at her job. I think she’s had about three different careers already, and each one a success.
I don’t know if I can live up to her enthusiasm, but I have and will continue to try to. I think we all should. Everyone has good days and bad days, but spending the next 25 years seeking interest and joy in the things you spend every day doing certainly seems like a better idea than just counting them off. I’ll remind myself the next time I sit down at my desk feeling dull. If I’m not learning, that’s on me.