Recently an old university friend of mine celebrated her birthday. We are typical Facebook friends, we don’t talk often, we ocassionally exchange a few messages, and then it can be a year before the next exhange.
I wished her the obligatory Facebook happy birthday and she sent me a private message. The usual “hi, how are you? Thanks for the birthday wishes etc” and we continued to talk. During the course of our conversation I asked her if she had any future plans or was there something she was looking forward to. Her response completely took me by surprise, it took the wind out of my sails and shocked me to the core. What was her response? Retiring.
So you might automatically assume she had celebrated a birthday in her mid-fifties or early sixties, but in fact the birthday she was celebrating was her 48th. A milestone I will be celebrating myself in a few short months. In the UK we can take early retirement at 55. Have I thought about retirement? Only in terms of being 65 and being able to look after grandchildren etc. Have I thought about retiring in the next few years? Absolutely not. I still have a million things I want to achieve. I understand early retirement if you have ill-health, but if you are in a job you hate why not try something else?
I asked her if she was off travelling, or trying something else. Nope she said, she was just going to sit at home and do nothing. I asked her to clarify nothing, and she said exactly that. “I’m just too old for all that shit anymore” she said. Too old? She’s 48, how is that old? I don’t mind admitting that this frame of mind completely baffles me.
I don’t see myself as old. Yes, it takes me a few more minutes to get going in the morning but I certainly am not ready to put my foot in the grave just yet. I have lots of career aspirations before I hang up my working hat. As many of you know, I’ve talked repeatedly about leaving nursing. At the moment I’m on a career break, but to be honest, I really miss talking to people. I have always been fascinated by people, I love to get into people’s head and explore their thoughts and feelings. I should point out that I don’t sit and interogate people and make them divulge their inner, deepest and secret thoughts. However, I do love it when people open up voluntarily and share a little piece of themselves with you.
Again, I’ve said this is several blogs, I want to write a book. Several books in fact. Of course, I have some hopes/dreams attached to my writing. Recently I’ve been watching YouTube videos about positivity and quieting noisy minds. During one of these videos someone said something that struck home to me. They said that we should look back to our childhoods and ask ourselves this; what did we do to entertain ourselves in a quiet moment as a child? Those are the moments we felt complete pleasure, and we should incorporate that into our adult working lives. For me reading books and writing stories were my go to. So why did I never consider that as a career? Why did I not choose that path? Well for me, growing up in the 70s/80s you grew up and got a proper job. Anything out of the realms of ordinary and you were accused of having your head in the clouds.
I have always been driven by my dreams. Sometimes I’ve got it really wrong, and discovered something I thought I wanted I didn’t. Sometimes things have come along, and after initially thinking it wasn’t what I wanted, have turned into a dream. Some might say I am an idealist, but I like to say I’m a realist dreamer. For instance it would be ridiculous for me to say I wanted to become a runway model before I’m 60. The fact is I’m barely 5ft 2 and a little podgy. To say I would like to become a published author before I’m 60 is not unrealistic. I have been told by numerous people they like my writing style, and whilst the stuff I write may not be everyone’s cup of tea, I CAN write.
I hope I never stop dreaming. Obviously having dreams for the future on my death bed might be a little futile, but you know what I mean! I never want to feel like giving up, to not have that bucket of dreams that I carry around with me. I mean somewhere at the bottom of my bucket is still the hope that one day Keanu Reeves will come knocking on my door and carry me off into the sunset. That is if I manage to lose a bit of podge and he hasn’t got a bad back and all that, cos you know, he is in his 50’s!
What I think I’m trying to say in a really awkward way, is that we only have one life (as far as we know.) It’s so important to cherish it, and not endure it. Do everything that you can, make as many of your dreams come true as you can. You owe it to yourself. After all their are so many people who lives are so unfairly cut short.