Someone asked me recently if I was retired.
I got this question a while back and did not think about it too much. The last time, however, I was not sure how to respond and I even had to ask myself if I was retired because I really do not know for sure. I guess I kind of am, even though I am doing some volunteer work for a little bit of money to help offset my bills.
It is interesting to think of oneself as being “retired”. Most think of retired people as old and not doing too much except playing around doing needlepoint, fishing, fiddling in the yard or workshop, etc…. the list is endless. When you change careers it is just that, and you go do something you REALLY want to do with your life as long as you are not working for some raging asshole like your last boss or doing something that you no longer want to do even though the money is good. But when you change careers, and essentially do what I am doing being a volunteer, am I really what anyone considers as “retired”?
I just do not know the correct answer for certain.
Perhaps I am what most people would consider “retired” since I do not fit in with the typical “real job” people.
All I really know is that I feel freedom like never before. Am I getting rich? Hardly, and I am definitely not wealthy but I am doing okay (but I will take donations!). There is much more to life than money, however, and there are actually many people who aspire to be more than wealthy. Does money really buy happiness? For me, no – all it bought was more cars, guitars, a house… more shit you probably do not REALLY need. We are all imprinted to make more money so we can buy more stuff… but does that really make us happy?
This is not to say that it is bad to get toys you want or to deny yourself of things. I am a firm believer in if you want something well then, goddammit, by all means go and get it – it is YOUR life so live it how you deem necessary. I am guilty in the past of buying new cars every year or two, multiple guitars, and wasting money buying lots of shit I did not really need – but I had the money to do so. I do have my toys – a new iMac, iPhone, iPad, guitars, and I just bought a motorcycle for a good price (yes, it WILL be fun but it will save me money on gas). Other than those things and a few personal possessions I really have nothing else, not even furniture, so my worries are few.
As I stated early on in this blog, after many changes in my life earlier in the year I got rid of nearly everything and sold my house and left Colorado after 16 years. For me, this has enabled new things in my life by giving me the freedom to go do things with my life that I really want to do as well as experience new things yet to be seen. It also gives me the opportunity to work in a great place that is absolutely making a difference on the plane, and I get to be a part of that as well.
That, in turn, brings me my happiness.