Memoir Monday - Week 6 (4/15 to 4/21)

in #memoirmondaylast month (edited)

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Memoir

/ˈmemˌwär/ noun. a record of events written by a person having intimate knowledge of them and based on personal observation. Usually memoirs. an account of one's personal life and experiences; autobiography. the published record of the proceedings of a group or organization, as of a learned society.


Week 6 of the Memoir Monday initiative on Hive begins! For all of those who’ve regularly participated in Memoir Monday - keep going, you’re making great progress in crafting your very own life story for future generations to enjoy! Writing a memoir is an amazing accomplishment that few people will undertake. I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed reading the entries from all across the globe. Take a moment this week to look back and celebrate what we’ve achieved together so far.

For those who missed the inaugural post explaining what the Memoir Monday initiative is all about you can find it here.


This week’s Memoir Monday question:

In your opinion, when is the right time to retire?


My answer:


The better question is, What profession would you not want to retire from?

The answer to that question could be your calling and something you’ll love doing so much you won’t want to retire. This isn’t always easy nor does it even seem like an option for some people but be what we should strive for.

Some people seem perfectly happy and fulfilled working for a paycheck and get their inspiration and joy from things like family, hobbies, and activities outside of their job. The trick is not to let your job define you in terms of self-worth and identity. It's important to be honest with yourself in this regard or you're setting yourself up for misery and disappointment. If you find yourself amongst the larger group who are working a “job” that isn’t something that ignites your soul, you feel empty inside, and you find yourself living for weekends and that next vacation I’d say the right time to retire is as soon as you can.

The average workplace isn't always what it appears to be, it's full of fallacies and is often just as risky and unstable as being an entrepreneur. Downsizing and staffing changes can come out of nowhere and derail all of your plans. Depending on the mental state of those above you, the workplace can be downright toxic and dangerous to your mental and physical health. I've encountered a few mentors who've added real value to my life but there also quite a number of people with sociopathic tendencies in management.

Companies work hard to craft a reputation of stability and loyalty to employees but employers are rarely loyal despite how much value you think you contribute to the organization. Unfortunately, many people find this out the hard way towards the middle-to-end of their careers when they’re higher in the pay scale and become prime targets for budget cuts. You should always be searching inside yourself to figure out what fills you with joy and adds value to the world and then devise a plan to make it happen. It’s never too late.

Also, people you consider to be work friends are really more like acquaintances, as soon as you leave the job the contact with co-workers usually tapers off.

I was lucky when I found writing, once I did there was no doubt this was what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. As I found out later, the difficult part was figuring out how to make a living at it! It took me twenty-three years of trying. Even during the lean years writing was a Godsend to me. It has gotten me through some very dark times. Writing has also helped me to maintain a healthy perspective and modesty during times of success where I might have otherwise lost my way.

In my opinion, the entire concept of retirement is unrealistic, outdated at best, and will probably completely vanish from society after Generation X. Lifespans are longer than they used to be. Also, a large portion of people underestimate how much money they’ll need to survive in retirement or simply don't have enough left after the bills are paid to save/invest so they’ll have to continue to work long after the traditional retirement age.

As I’ve approached middle age I’ve witnessed a lot of baby boomers who’ve retired and very few are able to do it happily and successfully. So much of our purpose and self-worth are tied to our careers or businesses that shortly after most people leave their day jobs they quickly find they're unhappy and feel a huge void in their lives.

How we fill our voids with is the important part and like most things in life, it’s all about mindset. Those who seem to struggle with retirement feel it’s is just a time to rest and relax or they fill the void with unhealthy things like drinking, watching TV all day, or overeating. Many retirees subscribe to the false notion that they worked so hard for so many decades that they’ve earned the right to “retire from life”. This attitude is almost always the start of a decline in their physical/mental health and overall quality of life. Comfort truly is a slow poison.

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The retirees I’ve seen who thrive have a different attitude altogether - they challenge themselves, want to keep moving, and continue learning. They constantly strive to become better mentally, spiritually, physically and experience new things. As a result, these successful retirees stay curious and maintain their zest for life.

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The picture above was taken at my farewell lunch when I left the company I worked for, Securian, after twenty-two years in October of 2017 to write full time. I worked with some of the people at this table for more than two decades of my life. Many of the people I felt I was even closer with didn't make it to the lunch. We spent more waking hours together than we did with our families but hardly any of them have made an effort to stay in contact. To be fair, I haven't made much of an effort either. That's okay, I now realize these were friendships of convenience, work was the glue that held us together, and they're all just trying to survive. This is just how the world works and one of the many realities that come to light when you leave the workplace.

I think I’ve done a decent job of navigating semi-retirement and working for myself but took a few years. For me, establishing rituals and routines were the magic ingredients that made it all work for me. It’s important to replace the old rituals that were once a part of your workday with healthy and productive new ones. If you don’t do this it’ll be hard to shake complacency, boredom, and the nagging feeling like something is missing in your life. After seven years away from the job I’ve finally honed the rituals and routines that make up the structure of my day but also enjoy the flexibility of being able to change things up in the moment if I want or need to.

It doesn’t happen often but some days I miss certain parts of the old work routine and built-in socialization the job provided. The truth is when leave your job when you’re still young most of your friends still have to work so getting together with the isn’t always possible and it can get lonely sometimes. You have to make an effort to find new friends who have the same freedoms and kind of life that you do.

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It felt like a dream the day I turned this badge into security and walked out of that grey skyscraper I called my second home for the final time. I was also a tad terrified treading into uncharted waters. After working for a total of over thirty years of working for someone else it was strange to feel like I was losing that safety net but it was the best choice I ever made. Complacency and boredom are always lurking in the shadows and when your time is your own these two things are your mortal enemy.

Personally, I love the freedom of never having to work for someone else. In some ways it feels like the euphoria that would wash over you as child during the first week of summer vacation or that random, unplanned, snow day.

I fill my days with writing, cycling, traveling, learning new skills, languages, reading for pleasure, staying more physically fit. It’s so great to grab a meal at unusual times (in the middle of the afternoon on a weekday) or being able to shop and run errands when the rest of the world is at work. Oh, and not having to get up with an alarm is and will always be my favorite thing. This kind of freedom is so much better than winning any lottery and preserving it for the remainder of my life is now one of my top priorities. In all honesty, I can't see myself ever retiring.


Rules for Memoir Monday Participation

  1. Please reblog this first post and share on other social platforms so we cast the widest net possible for this initiative;
  2. Pictures paint a thousand words. Include pictures in your posts if you have them;
  3. Answer each Memoir Monday prompt question in your own post. The prompt question will be published each Monday but you'll have the entire week to answer and publish your own post;
  4. Have fun with it, don't worry about getting behind, or jumping into the project at any point after we've begun; and
  5. Lastly, be sure to include the tag #memoirmonday.

It's that simple.

At the end of the next twelve months we'll have created something immensely valuable together. It's so important to know our "whys" in life and there's no better way to do that than this.

Someday all that will be left of our existence are memories of us, our deeds, and words. It's up to you to leave as rich of a heritage as possible for future generations to learn from. So, go ahead, tell your stories. I can't wait to read them.

Be well and make the most of this day. I want to sincerely thank all of the participants thus far. I've really enjoyed reading your posts!

~Eric Vance Walton~

(All photos are original.)


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I know many people who have felt useless when the time comes for them to retire. They failed to cultivate throughout their lives any activity that would nourish their spirits. Almost nothing attracts their attention apart from watching TV, they do not dance, do not sing, do not paint, do not read, do not write, do not play sports... For people like this, the free time that retirement leaves them can seem like an ordeal difficult to bear, some get sick and fall into depression.

I think it is important that from a young age we learn to cultivate some activity that we like and that catches our attention. I, for example, have always loved to read, I can spend all my time with my books, that's wonderful. Now in HIVE I have also dedicated myself to writing, it is something that I did little and I have discovered that it really entertains me a lot.

Thanks for sharing dear @ericvancewalton . Happy week. A big hug from Maracay.

They do not dance, do not sing, do not paint, do not read, do not write, do not play sports... For people like this, the free time that retirement leaves them can seem like an ordeal difficult to bear, some get sick and fall into depression.

What if you did all these things and once you hit retirement, you just want something new, something different, an adventure?

Of course. There is always the possibility of doing something new, learning a language, traveling...There are always things to do...Thank you very much for stopping by and commenting dear @iskawrites . A big hug from Maracay.

You bring up a great point, these interests and hobbies have to be cultivated long before we retire! Thank you and I wish you a wonderful week!

Good afternoon @ericvancewalton. I share with you that the concept of retirement tends to disappear and not only because every day there is an increasing number of people who, upon retirement, look for a new activity that among other things generates a new income, but also because the term has become a stigma whose meaning between the lines is: "poor thing, how will you survive".

A topic that there is much to share, it is interesting to know how this "condition" is perceived in different parts of the world. Greetings. 😊

Translated with DeepL.com (free version)

Hello! It's the same way here in the US. People of my generation (GenX) have become accustomed to the fact that they'll always need to have one or two revenue streams, even in their "golden years". Thank you!

We were just talking about this tonight with my inlaws. While I can go in three years, I am not sure I would. My job isn't that bad and it pays the bills. I'd still have to get some kind of work if I left because SSI doesn't kick in for a while yet.

The "when" is such a personal decision. I took a HUGE risk leaving when I did, it was downright irresponsible. I was involved in a project that got funded and I thought would really work out (HardFork Series) but it fizzled and I walked away with nothing but more screenwriting experience. I would recommend to anyone that can take a sabbatical from their job (without repercussions) to get a taste of what retirement is really like to do so. Like everything in life, there are pros and cons.

Yeah, that is a good point. You can have all kinds of plans, but until you actually live it day to day, you aren't going to know if it will work. I kind of don't think it would be fair to retire five to six years before my wife!

How are you dear friend @ericvancewalton good morning
The topic you have chosen for this week is excellent, and I share that the question should be: What profession would you not want to retire from? Given the way things are in the world, even when retired you have to do something to live, since the assets of a retiree rarely exceed the value of the basic basket and it is not enough to live.
I loved your answers, and you say very true things.
I take this opportunity to wish you a great weekend.

Good morning! Yes, retirement is definitely a juggling act. The more revenue streams the better. Thankfully it isn't difficult to do these days with the internet. Thank you and I hope you enjoy your weekend!

My immediate answer would be 'never' as long as one still is in good health

...you find yourself living for weekends and that next vacation I’d say the right time to retire is as soon as you can.

That is so sad, as most people in formal employment feel this way.

I'm so happy for you, and your family must be so proud that you followed your dream and it became true!

Thank you for all the memories you're stirring up with #memoirmonday!

Have a wonderful weekend Eric.

That's a good point, health is a very important part of that equation. Yeah, honestly, I think a majority of people live that way. This could explain some of the problems in the world. Thank you, Lizelle! It involved so much luck and I'll be forever grateful that I was able to experience it. My dad retired when he was in his mid-fifties due to a back injury and I can remember thinking to myself, "I'll never be able to retire that early." You're welcome! I appreciate you taking part in this. It's been a lot of fun so far! Enjoy your weekend my friend. It's supposed to get close to 80 degrees here today! Spring has officially sprung.

Of course the right time to retire is when we already have savings to survive in old age. So even without working we can still live comfortably. Have a nice day, Eric.

Sadly, not many people will be able to do this in today's America. I hope you had a great week and a wonderful weekend ahead!

I think I'm going to have to think carefully about my answer! Although it is true that I love my profession, the situation of the country, of the universities, does not allow it to be a profitable job, neither economically nor spiritually. I look at you in the photo, surrounded by women, and I wonder how often we confuse companionship with friendship. Offices can really be a nest of vipers. hahaha. An excellent Saturday, my friend. Hugs

Those are good questions to reflect on. I didn't mind my job some days either but I saw so many negative changes coming to the workplace. I was starting to experience a bit of agism too even in my mid-forties. Younger people were given priority for new jobs/raises/promotions. Many of those I considered my "good work friends" weren't pictured but the department I worked in was mostly female. It was like that almost my entire career. Viper pit could be really accurate sometimes! I handed out so much chocolate to help keep people happy. Lol. There was a lot of talking behind peoples' backs and just plain bad behavior. Looking back on it now, I know it was just because people were so generally unhappy. A happy person doesn't usually behave that way. The woman at the head of the table was my first manager and she was the one who hired me from the mailroom in 1996 and then hired me back in 2014. I owe a lot of my success to her because without those opportunities I would never be where I am today. Thank you Nancy! Enjoy your weekend!

You have to make an effort to find new friends who have the same freedoms and kind of life that you do.

Hi, Good Sir, my biggest question these days is, how do I find these kinds of friends? 🥺

It's not easy and, I find, it gets more difficult as you get older. Joining online groups for something you're really interested in (motivational, investing, hobbies, etc.) and then going to local meet-ups is a good way to do it. If you can meet people who share some of the same interests you have more common ground to build a solid friendship on. This is how I found Steemit/Hive actually. I had joined a motivational group on Facebook and one of the members told me about Steemit.

Bridges are special when all people are sitting at the same table, it's good, it gives a lot of comfort and it should be the same way to invite each other to your home.

I want to retire by 40, I know it will be hard, but i will try my level best to make it happen and after that, i will travel all around the world with my family and enjoy the travel.

I hope you achieve your goal! What are some places you'd like to travel to?

well, i would like to travel to the northern areas of Pakistan, and some areas of Europe.

One of my dream since childhood and even till now is to actually to work from home. I don't mind retiring without a professional job as far as I can be working from home at the comfort of my house or probably the next option is for me to own the business of my own. I actually dislike working for someone but also at one point I discovered it is impossible to do actually

It's very smart to start your own business. I think this is one of the best and quickest ways to achieve financial independence.

Retirement has never crossed my mind. Now at 70, I am still okay to carry on and I would rather die on the job than sitting idle in an old age home, or at home. The easy lifestyle is not for me, as I really dislike being bored, and I get bored very quickly !LOL
I started the charity a long time ago (23 years ago), and it is by grace still on the go, so that will keep me busy until my end.

The first time I saw my future Wife was at the local Zoo.
I just knew she was a keeper.

Credit: reddit
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I don't ever want to stop either. I just can't imagine sitting around all day with nothing to do. Can you share more information about your charity?

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