I am at that age when my parents started thinking about retirement. To them, retirement meant closing the chapter on their salaried jobs an opening a new chapter of free time to be spent traveling, learning new things, spending time with friends, reading... All those things they could not find time to do when they were working and supporting my sister and me. They worked hard at planning and saving for that moment of transition and have made the most of each day. I am proud of the way they managed and planned their lives. And I benefit greatly from their freedom -- I see them all the time.
I feel my life is leading me down a different path. After leaving corporate careers and making our own way, my husband and I have found ourselves traveling, spending time with friends, reading, learning new things...All those things we did not find the time to do when we were working our corporate jobs and raising three small children. So what is there to retire from? Life as I know it now is filled with challenges and opportunities to try new things, balanced by simple pleasures. Because my work requires a deep well of creativity, I sometimes play hooky and meet my friend Carolyn at a museum, or my friend Beth in a botanical garden. I spend quiet moments poring over French design magazines. Every movie is an opportunity to examine the set design for inspiration. This year when it was time to build our annual plan, I did it from my sister's sofa in Arizona with my husband consulting via text. My current chapter is the perfect blend of the rewards of both work and retirement.
I feel I have a good 15 years more to continue working in my chosen field and anticipate 15 years more of learning, exploring and squeezing the most out of life. So what's in store for chapter 3? Who knows. But I have about 15 years to craft my vision.