A friend recently joked, “My next birthday I can move into an adult community…” I laughed, because in my mind an adult community is where my dad lives in Florida. Then I stopped laughing. The person I was talking to is all of one week older than I am. You know the communities that he was talking about…they go by such names as “55 and older” or “active retirement.” Hold on – I am not one of them! I am not thinking about retirement; I am not thinking about an “older” community, I am not that old! Or, am I?
Let me see…it might be time to take stock of some facts:
- My kids are still kids – no, they are young adults
- I have many more years of work – truth is, using the 32 years since I graduated college, means if this is the midpoint, I will be working until 87 (if so, hoping not out of necessity).
- My years in the workforce are greater than the age of some of the people they hire at work.
- I still have a lot of energy – yeah, one thing going for me
- I still live an active (non-retirement) lifestyle
OK - I have to face the truth that this week I turn 55! While I am thinking these thoughts, another friend recently commented on how he is beginning a plan to move towards retirement. I cannot even imagine a time where I no longer get up and go to work. For me, thinking about retirement would mean not only planning financially (i.e., some type of residual income), but also what I would do to fill my days. I am neither the person who is fascinated with sitting on a front porch watching the grass grow nor that person sitting in front of the TV. Fact is, there once was a day when retirement age was 65 (only 10 years away), or 62 for “early” retirement. I might not think like a millennial, but I still have things to accomplish, goals to achieve, places to visit, adventures to experience and learning to do.
I am, however, at the point where deep down, it would be nice to one day reach the point when money is no object, I can travel when I want, volunteer when and where I want, be an inspiration to my descendants, help others and continue to live a meaningful life. In truth, as I get older, I still want to make that childhood desire to live to be 100. Over the last couple of years, I have changed some aspects of my life to be healthier, which should give me more time on this planet.
So then, what will I do for my birthday / what is my goal for the upcoming year? My goal, on this birthday, is to learn a new instrument, which I just purchased – the banjo (see picture). This is an instrument I have always been curious about (the other instrument is the harp, but too big) and decided after being in Nashville that is it was time to give it a go. While I can play a little bit on the guitar and read music, this 5-string instrument is not played like a guitar and has its own way of music writing method. It will be fun posting updates (and easier on the eyes than my fitness updates were) during the next year. Maybe, just maybe, instead of shocking your eyes, I can thrill your ears!