Posted March 29, 2016
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With less than 100 days till Jim’s final office work-day and the beginning of full-time Airstreaming, he is now officially in the 2-digits – less than 100 days from retirement. To be precise, today Jim has only 94 days until his last day in the office!
Yep, it’s a big deal. A milestone. For better or worse, reality sets in when the two-digit countdown begins. On the day Jim went down to 99, a younger co-worker took out his phone to calculate how many times the sun will rise and set before his retirement day, and his number was 7,300. So, being under 100 is life-changing … a time for celebration!
While still a participant in the business world, being so close to retirement highlights the known facts about an unknown future. What is known is that the deadlines for projects, strategic planning sessions, hundreds of daily emails, personnel issues, pleasing the ‘boss’ and the ever-present “next meeting” … all begin to break down into a dispersed, ethereal slo-mo quality as a Yoda-ish enlightenment steps in to inform you that the urgency is, and has always been, mere mental work.
This isn’t an early retirement. Jim’s been earning a living – without break or sabbatical – since he was 13 years-old. That’s 48 years.
He’s been wanting this change for quite a while but had to find something exciting enough to retire about – something to focus his knowledge of technology, art and craftsmanship, his love of organization and procedures, and longing for the outdoors, traveling and adventure. Now comes the delicate task of unyoking and releasing his skill-set to roam the wild unknown while living in Beauty.
It isn’t lost on us that this opportunity is rare for middle-class folks these days. Not all workers will come to a planned and chosen moment of departure from employment – or even a mid-career sabbatical – and still have the means to provide the financial resources necessary for one and one’s spouse to venture out into the golden years and beyond unattached from timecards and payrolls. Our minds and hearts are wide-open to the reality so many of our hard-working American friends and family express to us: “I can never retire”. And, while that may not be entirely true, the feeling of being unable to leave the farm is prevalent among our peers.
So, we give collective thanks to Strength (friends, family and faith) for the ability to stick to the plan through the lean and fat years, the tragedies and joys, personal failures and hard-won triumphs, gut-wrenching decisions and life-style choices – through the circumstances, happen-stances, divine-stances and good-enough health … because all has delivered us to this place without having sacrificed our joy of life or having fun together.
As July 1st, 2016 nears, we find ourselves anxious, fearful, excited, and everything in-between. We are honored that you’re here to share this moment in our journey of Gratitude … if not this superb IPA.