Many people say to write about what you know and I will give that a shot here with the following thoughts and experiences and keep them brief and to the point. That’s a self-reminder not to get carried away and off on some other tangent that comes to mind while writing. It happens. You know, one thing leads to another and so on and so on as, I like the Farmer’s Insurance ad where J.K. Simmons says, “We know a thing or two because we’ve seen a thing or two.”
First off, I have “retired” several times, from careers, from positions and from work. The first time I retired I wanted to work only part-time, so effectively I retired from full-time employment so we would have time to do other things. Full-time employment is greatly overrated in my opinion. So, I found and created work that would allow me to be almost anywhere and that enabled a good bit of travel on our part. The highlight of that period was several months in Mexico in the winter, while still gainfully employed, as an independent, self-employed, sub-contractor, and as a consultant with my own practice. That began for the most part in 1999, some 19 years ago. One downside is that in that role you have to pay your own self-employment tax that includes payments to social security. However, you also have more deductions with your own business. That year also coincided with my beginning to receive payments from social security while continuing to pay taxes on that income as well, around 25%. Fortunately I have an excellent bookkeeper who works down the hall and manages all financial matters. She works only for us.
As I continue to reflect on this latest stage of work I believe that retirement is really the wrong word for many of us who are still actively engaged in numerous projects and I happened upon the word rewirement. I saw it in this blog by Eve Beck as reported in the Huffington Post, November 12, 2014, ‘Rewirement, As Good As It Gets.”
I was sharing that with a friend who was celebrating her last official day at work she said the word for her is refirement. For a reference on that concept and practice, here are two sources with information for those interested. www.refirement.com and www.refirementnetwork.com
As we rewire and refire ourselves it’s far from the traditional lounge chair on the deck or in front of the TV although there’s time for that as well as a continuing list of books to read. If we are fortunate to be in good health with mind, body and spirit engaged fruitfully we are indeed blessed and can be enormously grateful. For myself, I am going not back, but forward to the classroom as a teacher again, looking ahead to engaging with students, continuing to learn and grow and helping others to do the same. It may not be easy but I know it will be very worthwhile.