Phased Retirement: Savor the Journey

Recently I wrote about anticipating retirement (link) and the joy that the mere expectation can bring.  It conjures up happy emotions similar to the time you might spend planning for a vacation.  Spending time visualizing what you’ll be doing, planning out trips you may take or hobbies to pursue.

But as I was reflecting on that article I realized that I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind you to savor the journey as well.  Don’t merely dwell on ‘someday’ but also enjoy today.

Robert M. Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values, said it well, “Sometimes it’s a little bit better to travel than to arrive.”

The “someday” mentality can keep us from living our lives.  We’re always waiting for some other day “when I finally” do such and such, or meet someone, or get the bonus, or reach my desired level of investments for my retirement.

But it’s not all about the future or the money.  Our journey is where we live and meet challenges and grow as people. 

Despite the pressures of his role as CEO of Meta Platforms, Inc. (formerly Facebook, Inc.), Mark Zuckerberg, 38 years old, said he doesn’t plan to retire soon…and he has plenty of financial resources.  He’s said that he has specific professional and personal goals he hopes to achieve over the next 10 to 15 years.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic altered many of our former routines, there have been many more stories on social media that suggest we should ‘savor the journey.’

These are the posts that say, “Take the vacation!” or “Get away from your routine and unplug!” or “Chase your dreams for yourself and your family now!”

And I’ll reiterate that.  

Yes, do your planning for your unique approach to a well-deserved retirement.  But always remember to enjoy the people and activities around you.

Savor the journey my friends.

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