Archive for March 12, 2012

WALT’S OBSERVATIONS

WALT’S OBSERVATIONS

ON

RETIREMENT

This piece is meant for those poor souls that are compelled to write.

As reported recently on my blog, my wife, Joni, and I went on a cruise last January. The experience, much to my surprise, was most enjoyable. At my age, it is wonderful to have all your needs met, even some you didn’t know existed (all legal of course). However, this reflection is more about the people I encountered and my thoughts, contrasting my mindset and that of those wonderful people at a similar stage in our lives.

Joni and I joined a large group while taking the cruise, including my sister, Shirley and her husband Matt. They now live in South Carolina in an over 55 retirement community and were joined by about eight or nine other couples from the same community. I had the opportunity to talk to most of them and those feelings generated are the source of this article.

All retired, the exuded the joy of life. They had all worked hard and now it was time to enjoy the fruits of their labor. In the many conversations I shared with them, I came to appreciate the image of retirement, having time to relish the simple things that life now offered whether it be gardening, walking or spending time with grandchildren.

As I listened to them I reflected on my life. I have always been one to pursue a goal and that drive offers no peace. I envy those who, in retirement, can put aside their past efforts and enjoy their twilight years.

I am reminded of the legend of Sisyphus, doomed to role a stone up a hill only to have it fall down the opposite side where he must again begin his effort. There is no end to his toil.

Those retirees I encountered have defied Sisyphus, for the most part. Some still work part-time, victims of the current economy. But for the most part, they have rolled the stone of their careers to the summit and now enjoy the gentle coast downward in retirement. They have reached the point where the repetition of failure no longer exists. They are at peace with their life and the world.

But for us writers, the scenario is different. I am one of your legions and share the Sisyphus of the written word with you. You and I will never retire. For to retire to us would mean we have ceased to think, to imagine. We roll the rock of our creation up a slippery slope only to have, for many of us, have it roll down in rejection and lack of appreciation. We are compelled to continue this effort to the end.

Fellow writers, these are my observations. God help us all.

March 12, 2012 at 7:45 pm 2 comments


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