That should be the answer you give when someone asks you about retirement. “Retire from what?”
Sure, it could be the dreamer in me. But, it’s entirely possible. And yes, it all goes back to my obsession with human-beings and why we do what we do when it comes to work and career choices (not including those circumstances when life doesn’t give you much of a choice. I get that.).
There are people all around us that have created (or are in the process of creating) their own lives that fall outside of the false rules society has set up. I love it when people avoid the path of least resistance. Sure, it may be a more difficult path to negotiate…but the reward is much greater than following the crowd.
I like to think I’m avoiding the path of least resistance. It sure feels like it. I’ve yet to ‘dummy down’ the brand or ‘get out of my own way’. This path will either kill me, or it’ll enable me to give the ultimate answer when the day comes and the conversation turns to retirement — ‘retire from what?’
Willie Nelson and an interview with Jimmy Buffett from TIME is what got me thinking about this topic:
A lot of people look at Jimmy Buffett and think “That’s what I want to do when I retire,” but it doesn’t seem like you’re looking to retire from being Jimmy Buffett.
You know, Willie Nelson came out maybe a month ago and played a club in Montauk. When I was a struggling songwriter in Nashville, Willie was one of the few people who cut a few of my songs. We played a few songs; I wanted to see what 80 looked like on stage, because I’m 66.
And we were talking about it, and Mickey Raphael, who’s played with him forever and who I’ve known forever, told me a story about how last year the band had a big meeting with Willie on the bus where they asked, “Look, you’re gonna be 80 here, and we’re wondering what we’ll be doing if you’re thinking about retiring.” And Willie looked at them and he said “From what?” [laughs] I got a license to carry marijuana, we’re playing music and traveling and seeing the country, the kids are grown and happy. Retire from what? And if that applies to Willie it sure as hell applies to me, because I’m still having a good time, I still enjoy the creative aspect I’m a junkie for applause. As long as I feel that then I’ll stay there.