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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Empty Nester/Retirement (from work) (09/10/09)

TITLE: My Re"fire"ment
By c clemons


I know it might not be a word, “refirement”, but this is absolutely the best time of my life. Honestly, for the life of me I cannot understand those people who fear leaving a job, especially with thirty plus years. I have heard it all, “I don’t think I can afford it” or “What would I do with myself all day?” Personally I find the latter the saddest excuse of all. You are working not because you love your job but because the job gave you someplace to go and something to do. What are you waiting for? Jump in, the water is fine! I highly recommend it.

We spend the bulk of our lives answering to someone else. From about the time we are four or five until fifty plus years old, we are required to do things that someone else wants us to do. Our parents, teachers, and employers give structure to our lives. We are told when to get up, when to be there, and how long to stay. Twelve to sixteen years of school, then a J –O – B, hopefully a good paying job, one that you can keep for years. Sadly, today’s workers will never see thirty-five years at one company like I did.

In “refirement” you only have to answer to one being other than yourself, and that’s God. Yes, He wants to know just what you plan on doing with the rest of your life that He has blessed you with. Our main purpose on this earth is NOT to keep working for someone else. We should be about the business of what He has called us to, unless that assignment is the work that you are doing now. I am mostly referring to those who are holding down a nine to five job that you hate, or at least not truly fond of.

A very wise stranger once told me the word “job” could be an acronym for “Just Over Broke” it pays the bills. A job should not be confused with work. Work is something that not only pays the bills but you are happy doing it and would do it whether you were paid to do it or not. Think of artists, musicians, singers, even those who are in the service industry usually love what they are doing. I once had a stay in the hospital and believe me; nurses have to have compassion or a love for people to do what they do.

I retired this year and I feel a freedom I have a hard time remembering that I ever had. I suppose I had glimpses when I was off on disability or when I once took two weeks’ vacation. The thing I remember most about the vacation was the dread when I knew it was coming to an end. I know you know what I mean; you who are still nine to fivers. On Sunday evening the happiness you felt leaving the job on Friday starts to dwindle and it’s replace by another one, sadness.

I am glad I had a few friends that retired before me so that I knew what to expect. They kept telling me that they were twice as busy now than when they were working. I have found that to be very true. I am totally “refired” up about life and all it has to offer. I recall what was good about greeting a new day without an alarm clock. I am excited again to smell the roses and the coffee. It is important to me to be able to enjoy life with health and purpose now. A chance to travel, meet new people and experience new things. And also sleeping in whenever I want. This is not a period but a comma with a long dash for what comes next.

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This article has been read 548 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Beth LaBuff 09/20/09
You've enlightened me with a great new word. "Re-fire-ment". :) You give your reader much to think about. Thanks!
Lisa Johnson09/24/09
This is a very well written story. I enjoyed learning a new word, and seing a very thought provoking message on what retirement could/should really mean.
Mary Alice Bowles09/25/09
Nicely written and you described it the way I feel also.

May God Keep Blessing you greatly.
Allen Stark09/26/09
C, I agree with the way you look at retirement. It most definitely gave me a chance to refire my creative engine and spend more time doing the thing I most enjoy doing...writing. And I love your word coinage of "refirement.
The Masked Truelovers02/09/10
You speak the truth. Unfortunately, many of us do work in "jobs" just to pay the bills, not because we love doing it. I envy the people who get paid to do something they love.

Most people dread being laid off from work, but I was laid off in Nov. '09 after 38 years of work (at many places of employment). I am loving the longest break I've had since I was 12 years old. It gives me a chance to focus on some writing as well, and most importantly having time with my lovely wife.