It finally happened. My older brother announced that he is going to retire. He told me of his plans to travel, to work out whenever he feels like it, and to do nothing at all if he doesn’t want to. I’m sure you will join me in saying from the bottom of our hearts:
Big brother, you are about to figure out what all the military “retirees” learned the hard way. Retirement is an evil plan that the dark forces concocted so they could build up our hopes high enough that the fall at the other end would crush us. There is no such thing as retirement. It is like infinity. We have a name for it, but none of us can figure out what it really means.
What I’m trying to say, and my fellow military veterans will back me up, is that doing nothing creates a void. In the the post-salaried world, that void is filled by a tiny little voice inside your brain that starts every sentence with, “You know, I should (fill in the blank).”
You know, I should do a little volunteer work.
You know, I should paint the house.
You know, I should put off exercise to put up new cabinets.
You know, I should become a contractor to get a little extra money.
Before you know it you’ll be working full time doing nothing. If you go the contractor route, you will work just as hard and for just as many hours as you did before retirement, but without the ability to take someone to court martial.
After a few years, you will be exhausted, overworked, underpaid (if at all) and you will find yourself planning your no kidding, REAL retirement from, well, retirement.
And when THAT happens, boy, we can do nothing at all if we don’t want to. I will turn to you and be able to say with all sincerity, “You know, I should put in a little effort on the backyard.”
Congratulations, big brother.