What is retirement?
As we grow and age in this life, we seem to have generalized goals for specific time periods. The first 18 to 25 years can be set aside for education. From 25 to 35 you can call the period when you get married and raise some children. From 35 to 55 or 65 is where you focus on your work or career. And so you come to the “retirement age”. What exactly is “retirement”? Of course, ideally, this means that you can finally stop working and simply “enjoy” your life with your spouse. Your children are adults and on their own and you no longer have to go to “work” every day.
But what “is” pension? All previous episodes in a life are full of detailed descriptions. But “retirement” is somehow left rather vague. One would think that retirement would be the long-awaited GOAL of life. But instead we are left with the vague image of a rather portly man who plays golf and drinks “at the club” and the woman who enjoys raising her grandchildren. But what if you’re not a golfer (or a drinker) and your grandchildren do not really need you to raise them. Hmmm.
In fact, there is a specific purpose to be achieved within the period known as “retirement”. But it is not widely discussed in the media because it has to do with “Spirit”. The period we call retirement is actually the period when you have to review your entire life experience. What have you actually learned from your 65+ years of life within this 3-d hologram called life on earth. What has “Mary” or “Jim” really learned in this life? How have you been able to grow your soul.
And this brings me to the main subject: keeping a diary. It does not really take much time and you do not have to be a talented writer. You just have to keep some kind of note of your life experience when it happens. And here’s an interesting thing I’ve discovered (kept a diary for over 50 years). Among all my notes that describe specific stress patterns and lists of complaints, I have noticed that from time to time a detailed “paragraph” or two appears on the page that really has nothing to do with what came before or after. Suddenly, a deep “insight” as well as appear. And then, just as suddenly, it will stop and the notations will return to my patterns of general complaints and detail my frustrations over one thing and another. And then, a week later, maybe a couple of months later, another “deep” insight suddenly reappears. It can simply be a paragraph or two or it can be a whole page. And when I read about my journals, I discover that this seems to happen on a semi-regular basis, even though at the time of writing I am relatively unaware of the “insights”.
And here’s the pretty amazing part. I have gone through my journals with a yellow marker and noted where and when these isolated “insights” appear. And then I discover that they are all connected! It seems like a vase that has been smashed long ago with the pieces scattered over time. Or, in another way, it’s like “I” for two journals. One is my current personal list of frustrations and complaints and the other is from a higher perspective. But the “higher” perspective is still “I”. It’s just my point of view from a higher frequency of Mind. Some may call this a gift. Some others may call it celestial schizophrenia. But it is not uncommon. We all have several conversations with “ourselves” all the time. But we are often too distracted by the constant drama of life to pay attention.
Now for many people, a newspaper is simply a “male” euphemism for a “diary”. And as we know for many young girls diary while in middle school or high school. But in the same way, most early nautical explorers kept diaries except that they were called the ship’s log and it described their adventures and served as a historical document. I would suggest that you think of yourself as an early explorer on a dangerous mission that has never been attempted before: the personal exploration of your life! See your journal as your ship log.
I would also suggest that if journaling were to “catch up”, any day in the future, these journals would be studied at universities around the world as historical documents. “What was life really like in the 21st century?”
But who has the time to actually press the pen against paper in this world of constant distraction and instant gratification? Well … no need. If you own a computer or a smart phone, you can simply install a voice-to-text program or app and you will suddenly have a personal secretary who takes down all relevant thoughts and your secretary will work 24-7 for free!
Now that’s what I call ‘retirement’.
Here is a list of five specific suggestions for readers who have not kept a diary but are now in the “retirement phase” of their lives:
List all the addresses you have ever lived at. Describe each place in detail as best you can remember.
List all the “forks” in your life’s path. These do not have to be very good or bad, they are just position points where a choice was made that changed everything that came after.
List all “Close calls” you have had with Death. Everyone has those “events” that happen in their lives that could have quite easily resulted in their passing but that did not. Call it “fate” or simply good luck. Describe each of these in detail.
4. Describe your life in steps in 5 years. Start at 5 years of age. What do you remember (about something) between your birth and 5 years of age. Then go ahead and remember what you can do between 5 and 10 years. Do not go into 11 or 12. Continue it steadily in steps of 5 years. And do this until you are within 5 years of your current age.
5. Create a “Reverse Bucket List”. A “normal” bucket list would be a list of things you want to do in the future. In the case of a reverse bucket list, go through your life and choose things that you have already done or accomplished. Things that you enjoyed or are proud of and list them “as if” you had not actually done them yet but list them as things you want or hope to do or accomplish at some point in your life.