A Declaration of Independence…
Today this Baby Boomer declares he is OFFICIALLY SEMI-RETIRED…
For the past several years, I’ve been grappling with my occupational status. Thanks to the recession, consulting activities have been less than full time, meaning I had more free time. Discovered I rather enjoyed that.
But when people assumed I was retired, I’d correct them. Guess I wasn’t ready to join the ranks of the old geezers. However, a couple of recent events changed my thinking.
The first event was a college reunion last week. About fifty of us lived in a housing co-op that was a “poor man’s fraternity.” We had two old houses that might even be classified today as slums. We were definitely at the bottom of the social strata, but who cared? (Think Animal House...)
Most of us were poor but ambitious, and willing to work hard. But we played hard, too, and had a great time. We drank a lot of beer, and pulled off our share of stunts. We bonded, and formed life long friendships.
A few years ago, we started holding annual reunions. This time, about 25 showed up for the weekend. While many were retired, nobody was sitting around in a rocking chair. Everyone was enjoying a wide range of activities. Most confessed they were busy as ever.
We also toasted those who were no longer with us, including John of green shirt fame. Several months ago, John was planning to finally join us this year, but cancer won. A sad reminder of our mortality, and a bit of a wake up call.
The second event was reading the Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. Her book describes her research and personal experiments on finding happiness. It was a year long journey of self-discovery that she documented and shared.
She had numerous key points and suggestions, but two that resonated were “Do what you TRULY like, not what you think you should like,” and simply “Be Yourself.” I decided it was time to do both. The consulting biz has been fun, but it is no longer a top priority.
This declaration is strangely liberating, and even a bit exciting. To me, this represents a critical shift. My priority will no longer be on earning my living as a consultant, but rather on other activities such as grandchildren, travel, and the JumpToConsulting project (and activities it may spawn.)
In simple terms, here is a thought that summarizes my new direction:
I care more about making a difference than simply making a living.
You are welcome to ride along, regardless of your age or retirement status. We’re all on this life journey together!
P.S. So how does this affect my consulting business? Not much, really. I’ll still stay involved with the practice, but on a secondary basis to other pursuits. Won’t be actively pursuing new clients, but will still take care of existing clients as time permits. Will also be active in our training activities.
Furthermore, my business partner is NOT retired, so I’ll back him up as needed.
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