This past Monday, I attended a retirement lunch for my older brother. He had been talking for a long time about retiring, but kept putting it off, for various reasons. Not knowing what he would do once retired, perhaps. Or worrying about who could take over his duties for his employer. Maybe there was even a little unwillingness to leave what was safe and familiar. So he teetered on the edge for a long time, between enjoying retirement and working just a little longer.
I believe the sudden death of an old neighbor is what finally pushed him to the retirement side of the debate. This person, a neighbor boy we knew when we were growing up, was a few years younger than my brother. He died suddenly of cancer a few weeks ago.
I think this neighbor’s death provided a powerful reminder to my brother. None of us know how long we have on this earth. My brother worked hard for over forty years, putting away money for the day when he could retire and enjoy the fruits of his work and careful saving. He finally realized it was time to enjoy those fruits while he was healthy enough to do so.
There is a lesson for all of us in this. For myself, it makes me glad I gave up my corporate job to pursue my dream of becoming a published author. The timing wasn’t ideal, but when is it ever? My income might be less than I planned, but I am much happier now, and that is worth a lot.
For yourself, I hope this blog will make you think about your own life. What is that one thing you always wanted to do “one day”? Is there really any reason you can’t start doing it now? Even in small chunks? Don’t wait for the perfect time to do what makes you happy. Perfect timing isn’t nearly as important when death is about to take all of your remaining time away.
So my request for each of you is to think about your wish list. Look for one thing you can stop putting off until “some day” and figure out how you can make it happen now. My brother waited longer than he needed to wait. I hope you don’t do the same.
I write historical fiction, and I invite you to share the journey to published author with me.