retirement the mother of invention

Retirement is the Mother of Re-Invention

Yes, it’s graduation and yes, it was the 70s. In the intervening years there have been grad reunions, life changes, death, marriage, divorce, remarriage and all the things that can happen over 50 years.

It’s always been a fascination of mine to wonder what it was about those 4 years of high school that moves us to reunite to celebrate, even 50 plus years after graduation. My best guess is that those were some potent years, full of hormones and drama. Our brains were filling up and developing, we were choosing universities, colleges and careers, as well as partners and geography.

History equals chemistry.

Today’s reunions are no longer mid-career, raising kids, reigniting old flames conversations. They focus on grandchildren, travel, COVID, and retirement. What’s really fascinating is how many of us, in retirement (or as I prefer to describe myself — pre-tired) have gone back to do “work” that is really an extension of things we loved but never thought we could make a living at. For some that’s writing fiction, creating art, or turning your just-for-fun garage band into a real, for money, series of gigs.

Not only are people pursuing their passions, they’re also freeing their inner voices. At a certain point of life and career, we run out of ***ks to give and are much more confident and freer to share the hard truths our years of experience have led us to notice. This time, we won’t turn a blind eye to keep from rocking the boat. Rock on.

The best thing about the opportunities afforded by retirement is the chance to look at what moved and motivated us, which we might have shelved in the interests of getting ahead and making a life. Now we get to choose what kind of a life we want to live in this final third chapter.

Joanna Piros