Whimsy
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Retirement

I’m reading a book called “Tribe of Mentors” and one of the first nuggets that grabs me is this statement, “Decide how it’s going to end.” The premise is that as we begin anything, a business, a relationship, a friendship, we must also visualize how we want it to end. Because everything will end someday, won’t it?

I have a manager at work who’s voluntarily retiring today. And he says he’s avoided thinking about today for all of his working life. He knew it would end someday, but he didn’t know how or when. Well, here he is.

And it might seem mildly morbid to think about how things end. We assume that we will remain friends till we’re old and grey. We take marriage vows that’ll keep us bound till we die. We expect that our businesses will outlive us and become wildly successful enterprises. How will it all end?

It’s made me reflect a bit on when I’ll retire. How I’d like to retire. I’m thinking of all the things I’ve started, the things I want to start. And I’m asking myself, “What does a good ending look like?” What is a good ending for a business? A coffee shop? A library? A Whatsapp group?A good ending for a blog? What is a good ending for a career?

I want my engineering career to end without fanfare. Just me, sneaking off with a small cardboard box containing my personal effects. I want to go home to bed and wake up at 7:22 am (science says it’s the optimum waking time) and go about my morning leisurely, knowing that I don’t have to be anywhere in a hurry. I would eat proper breakfasts, read books and go on long walks. Some days, I would swim unhurried laps. I would eat lunch with a different friend every day and eat dinner with my family. I would write. And then I’d do it all again the following day.

Do you think about endings? How would you spend your retirement?

 

 

11 Comments

  1. Isu Muhammed says

    I don’t think of retirement in the same way that I don’t think of taking care of my children. I haven’t started that journey. I do think of endings. I think of how I might die and I imagine it will be suddenly and without warning. I don’t spend as much time thinking of how I want things to end as I do making sure they end. I have a need for closure. So when I see that WhatsApp group is no longer popping. I leave and delete it. I think that if I must think of my retirement, if I have to imagine what it will be like, I fantasize that it will be early. I will do my quota of engineering for the world then I will spend the rest of my life being amongst the literary people, pretending to be one of them.

  2. I used to think I would retire early; however, these days I enjoy my work so much I don’t know if I’ll ever stop. Maybe I’ll slow down or be very picky, but I doubt I’ll completely stop. It probably helps that I already work from home, and it just feels like a natural part of my being alive.

  3. When I saw “retirement” as the title, I was a bit afraid you wanted to tell us how you have decided to quit blogging lol.

    I don’t think that much about endings; I only just started many things in my life, so it feels a bit premature. I do know, however, that I don’t like endings very much; the same way I don’t like change. But this is truly a challenge to start to think more about these things.

  4. I think a lot about endings. Sometimes I’m ashamed of it and other times, I’m really scared. Some of these thoughts end in death and some end in peaceful partings.

    I don’t think I’ve started my career exactly and when I think of how it’ll end, I think I will always be proud I contributed to the world. When I think of death, I think I’ll sleep and just float away.

    I don’t think I will ever stop blogging or writing. I’ll keep that until my last day.

    • There’s nothing to be ashamed of. We know that everything will end one day. We might as well pick an ending we want.

  5. That’s a good one.

    Certainly there’s an end to everything even when we wouldn’t want it to.
    Rather than thinking much about the end of whatever we started, we may plan the end the way we want it be before time.
    Its also true we not have a foresight of what its going be like and may want to improve on it even when we do but we mustn’t necessarily need have a head-on to bring it to a better end cos for another good one to begin, an old one must give way something somehow abruptly.

  6. I do think about endings, I want one that will be perfect by God’s grace, where I get to travel any time I want and not be in hurry to come back.. I do think of my own blog anochilicatherine.blogspot.com.ng and how it will end, I’m new it and I want it to go far and successful before it ends.

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