According to a survey conducted for Civic Ventures reported in Time
magazine, 24% see retirement primarily as “a time to enjoy leisure activities and take a much deserved rest,” like the couple reported in Reader’s Digest
who took early retirement at 59 and 51. “Now they live in Punta Gorda, Florida, where they cruise on their 30-foot trawler, play softball and collect shells.”
According to the survey, 59% of older Americans see retirement as “a time to be active and involved, to start new activities, and to set new goals.” A time to create, to study and teach, to grow and share food, to tell and write stories, to paint and photograph, to mentor and grandparent children with needed wisdom, time, & attention. They accept aging not with fear or resignation, but engagement.
I’m so grateful that my friend and mentor Shirley chose engagement over leisure and rest.
She died last week. When we received the news on Monday my table was already set for Valentines. One of the hearts was from Shirley, given to me years ago. I picked it up and re-read her handwritten message on the back.