Let’s see how well you know your family history. Did your grandfather retire? Did his grandfather retire? Did HIS grandfather retire?
The fact of the matter is that, until very recently in human history, there was no such thing as living in leisure. Everybody worked, because to live was to work. Work gave meaning to everyone’s life.
The industrial revolutions of the 1800s changed the old model of lifetime work entirely. As modern technologies began to appear, the demand for human labor went down, and the jobs that remained were physically more demanding. America’s solution was to INVENT RETIRMENT. That is, government, big business, and labor together decided to convince women and older workers that they had a “duty” to yield their jobs to younger workers, and that they had “earned the right” to “retire” from work, and enjoy their “golden years” in leisure.
So, here is the tremendous irony about retirement: On the one hand, it was absolutely NOT invented for the benefit of older adults, but rather to get them out of the way of younger workers! On the other hand, though, retirement clearly does contain an enormous silver lining. Leaving fulltime work is an amazing opportunity for growth. Leaving full time work brings (a) freedom and flexibility, (b) time with ourselves, our family and friends (old & new), and (c) opportunity to develop OTHER areas of ourselves, to practice new roles, and to attack new tasks, challenges, and goals. Leaving full-time work means that we are finally free to transition from what we have to do, to what we want to do; from schedules, to projects; from what pays, to what matters; from career, to self. Did your grandfather have these opportunities? Did his grandfather have these freedoms? Did HIS grandfather? I doubt it! But you do!
Today’s retiree faces a seemingly overwhelming range of choices. You will be FREE! And I will talk about this in my blog next week!
“My passion is ensuring that every adult is mentally ready to succeed in all transitions that comprise the adult years. The meaning in my life comes from helping my patients see themselves, their situation, their future, and the entire world with new eyes and a newly courageous attitude.