Here I am at 60+ years of age (thank you, yes I know I don’t look a day over 55) and still trying to figure out what I’m going to be when I grow up. It’s a big assumption that I will ever actually do that – grow up I mean. All indications point to the opposite happening. The older I get the less “grown up” I’m interested in becoming.
When I was a kid my answers to that “What do you want to be…” question would wander around from veterinarian to technical illustrator to pet portrait artist to marine biologist and beyond. (Can you believe I just noticed the art-science theme there? Duh!) As I got a little older my answer would often be “I want to be retired”. I thought I was being clever but as I consider it now, I was being honest.
What did retirement represent to me then? Not having to report day to day to a job that didn’t feed my heart and soul, because pretty much everyone I knew who worked hated their job, or their boss, or their coworkers, or the company they worked for, or (fill in the blank). Only retired people got to spend most of their time doing things they loved. Or at least didn’t have to spend a lot of time doing things they hated.
Not that I knew a lot of retired people. But what I did know is they seemed to be happier and a lot more fun. That’s what I wanted to be – happy. And to have – a lot of fun. That’s still what I want.
It’s taken a long time for me to recognize and accept those as worthy and unselfish goals.
My current occupations (yes, there’s more than one) fulfill those goals beautifully. However, this whole being 60+ thing is going to make one or more of them physically impractical eventually. So I am turning my attention to figuring out how to go forward making a living from being happy and having fun. Because I’m never going to get to stop working but I can still live like I’m retired.