Don’t Retire, ReFire: ReFirement at Any Age!

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By Gail Supplee Tatum, Columnist, The Times

Four and a half years ago, when I started writing articles, my focus was on offering different perspectives to facing retirement and the questions that arise.

As the months and years passed, and the articles continued, it became clear that what I was sharing had a more universal message that spanned the ages.

While a sixteen year old isn’t thinking about retirement, he or she may very well be thinking about their life ahead and how they envision it looking. An “in-tuned” parent, grandparent or guidance counselor might ask thought-provoking questions like, what excites you or what do you love to do that if you could do it and get paid for it, would bring you joy, happiness and purpose?

This is a deeply profound question that can be posed to anyone at any age, particularly if they are not doing what brings them joy, happiness and purpose.

Please hear me when I say, if you didn’t get it right early in your working career, you can change your course and get it right at ANY age!

I fear that too many of us have “accepted our lot in life”. Again, I say loudly and boldly, if your lot in life does not bring you joy, happiness and purpose, go find what does!

You may argue that you can’t change what you’re doing because of reasons beyond your control. I get that, BUT you CAN add that thing you love as a daily or weekly outlet. It will bring you inner joy, happiness and purpose and give you something to look forward to. It could also make what you “have to do” a little more tolerable.

This past year has brought much to our attention and helped us realize what it REALLY important in life and, for me, has boiled down to the three words that I’ve been repeating throughout the article, joy, happiness and purpose.

In past years, I have made up a mantra for the year. Last year’s mantra completely blew up, where instead of a mantra, I changed it to “Correction 2020”.

As 2021 approached, I thought about what my mantra or guiding words would be and what I came up with was the continuation of “Correction 2020”, because it says it all, in a nutshell, of how I want to live my life.

  1. Health is true wealth.
  2. Live each day with a grateful heart.
  3. Make as many memories as possible with my family and friends.
  4. Where attention goes, energy flows.
  5. Life is unpredictable, so never miss the chance to say, I love you, you are important.

As a society, most of us get hung up on what our New Year’s Resolutions should be, like losing weight or start an exercise program and while these things are good, it is imperative that we take care of our inner health. By doing that, it will melt into everything else.

Resist what blocks you from your joy, happiness and purpose. You know what I mean. The little voice that most of us struggle with that says, you can’t do that, you’re not good enough, you don’t deserve it, which blocks us from our true greatness.

I offer you four powerful words that you can carry with you. Say them when you rise in the morning, say them as you say good night to the day, say them often during the day and say them to block those negative thoughts. Be a “Moment Maker”.

Let those words ignite a fire under you and know that you CAN at any age!

That’s ReFirement.

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