Why does the word ‘retired’ irritate me?
I suppose it is because as a child in the boomer generation, I was indoctrinated that I was so damn lucky to live in a society that planned for my obsolescence.
Success had been defined for me as the privilege of stepping off the stage and out of the spotlight to make room for the next generation. Like an aging actor, I would be thanked for my service and ushered to a back seat to watch my understudies take over.
That was the part I was handed - but I went off script and refused to leave the stage!
At age 65, by definition in the retirement play book of 21st century North America, I have already retired and unretired multiple times.
Each time I have reached the point of ‘enough!’ of a role, or I feel that I can no longer grow in that identity, I chose to bring that part to a close; retire from it, and audition new roles, stages and experiences.
Only by trying out new roles, and testing my talent and passion for different identities, can I answer confidently “Who Am I Now?”
What I do know now for sure is that I will never retire - with exception from the things I no longer want to do.
The word retired used to conjure up images in my mind of people planning the end of their lives. After almost a decade of struggling with this character assignment (and assassination), I tore out the final pages of the old script and wrote a new story.
I now know I can make these decades some of the most exciting of my life, filled with new beginnings and new starring roles.
Instead of focusing on contracting my contribution, activities, and impact, I am excited about the expansion that is possible!
Earlier in life, I did follow script as directed by society and advanced through my parts as student, employee, wife, mother, caretaker, breadwinner, and many more supporting roles. I played my parts well and made others look good before I took my bow.
It’s time to take center stage and focus on doing the things that excite, inspire, and teach me! I hope that I have decades and decades of time in which to experience some of the possibilities that I did not have time, skills or resources for earlier in my life.
I am still working on redefining and rewriting what retirement means to me. I published an entire book about this and shared my process in www. WhoAmINowBook.com
It is a complicated process with a lot of self-discovery and trial and error. My adventures and misadventures have been many, but I gladly share them all with you to help you write the script that is perfect for you.
What emotions does the word retire evoke for you?
Connect with me at www.IsabelBanerjee.com and let’s brainstorm some script ideas!