Counting down the years/days to retirement can be like that, the completion of a career and the beginning of time to complete items on the bucket list.
But, what if it wasn’t? Retirement, I mean. What would life be like now if retirement activities could be enjoyed in the present, instead of that time we look forward to after we’ve completed what we think we had to? What would life be like now if we took time out of a day to go eat lunch at that new restaurant by the lake? Or we took that class in Tai Chi or Economics or finally got that degree we put off while raising a family? What would it be like if we set our alarms a little bit earlier and woke up to a beautiful sunrise and a steaming mug of coffee on the deck of the cottage or the balcony or the barn that we are looking forward to enjoying when we retire?
I wondered this myself after my parents died. When all I wanted was to stop all the business of life and just take a breather … so I took on the attitude of being retired right now. And I started adding activities to my day that I had always wanted to do … the finality of their loss had changed me in a way that made the present so very precious. Death does that, if you let it. After all, death is the completion of a life; and for me it was the beginning of a life that not only honors my parents, but is a source of joy and wonder right now.
You can do it too. Instead of a bucket list that spans a lifetime, make one that spans six months, or a week or a day. Open yourself to the possibility of enjoying life right now. Take a moment to watch the hummingbird at the hydrangeas, its wings flapping invisibly as it hovers at the newly opened flowers … close your eyes and listen to the hum that gave it its name. Give yourself the gift of retirement right now in the middle of your life!
Reach Out Recovery Exclusive by Elizabeth Viszt
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