When do you know you are on the path of retirement?
Whenever I mention retirement, people usually look at me with raised brows, as if I had spoken the unspeakable. Some even try to tell me that I sound pessimistic or depressed; why else would I be thinking of old age and death?
But, hey, when did I talk of death? And no, I am not afraid of dying. Death is the logical end of life, and if it is peaceful and comes when you have met responsibilities reasonably well, nothing like it. It’s rather a welcome change.
Retirement could also mean a new beginning, like being born a second time, living those carefree pre-school days once again. By retirement, I mean retirement from the labour market: from working for others, taking orders, working for money, working for fixed hours, meeting deadlines, basically, not to be hired or fired.
By retirement, I mean working for pleasure, being my own boss and working on my own whim, doing what I want to do at any point in time.
By retirement I also mean living in the moment, being where I want to be, doing what I want to do at any given moment, without worrying about the world’s take on it.
I have been in semi-retirement for a while now, for the past couple of years, earning only enough to meet my needs, working only three to four hours a day, which many find stupid. But I don’t have any wants! So, I don’t see a reason to toil, I mean barter my time for cash I have no use of.
I know I can work for six to seven hours easily, make at least twice the money I do now without any extra effort. But I just don’t want to do it. I don’t mind the money, which I can donate, give away. But I do mind the confines of time that come with making that kind of money. And besides, I hate being submissive, taking orders and pretending to be scared when an incompetent senior tries to blame me for what he (mostly male bosses have been bossy without always any right to be so) thinks are errors. In the past, when this happened, I had always felt a rising anger within me, which I used to suppress to a point when it all rained down as tears, which my tormentors and onlookers mistook for timidity, weakness, and the like. Whenever, I had failed to control my temper in office, I had either quit the job in the spur of the moment, or yelled at the boss to “shut up” resulting in me being sacked!
I am ready for retirement. Actually, I have been ready for it the past couple of years. I just am not able to decide where to be for the rest of my life. Ideally, I want to be in one place, from where I can be available for my parents, and where I can do what my heart always wanted to do, give back to the world a slice of the goodness I have received in life from people, including total strangers. I wish to set up a school for the under privileged, run a non-profit organization for rural women and write, books, my books.
But as of now, I need to be sure where I want to spent my sunset years (read 60 plus!).
I also need to allow time for my son to decide where he wants to be for the next 20 years of his life. I definitely want to live near him, with him if he wants me to.
Till that happens, I will be browsing for peaceful places to retire, in India, my country; and elsewhere on earth. I don’t mind Mars too, provided someone would set up an FM radio station that plays Bollywood music 24/7.