I was at our Lane's BBQ Sunday evening. What a great group of people make up our little street! Most are retired, but some still work, and a few, like me, are early retired. As I listened to one of the neighbours recount a couple of hilarious stories about the adorable kids on the school bus he drives, I was struck by a few things.
Most people look forward to retirement: a time where they can relax, do the things they never had time to do when working full-time, travel, or just do nothing and not feel guilty about it one little bit. They've earned the right. Many people do just that, and more. However, there are many who, like me, find interesting little jobs that keep us active, mentally and physically, jobs that we give us such fulfillment. There is the neighbour who has decided to drive a school bus this year, and he just loves it. Another volunteers in a grade school classroom two days a week during their winter in Florida. Yet another has found her calling in the ministry after retiring from teaching. Then there is me, teaching yoga and absolutely loving it. What really made me think, "Whoa!" was when I realized that all of these jobs are of a service nature, and none of them pay that well, in fact the volunteer one not a cent. And it just doesn't matter. Yet the fact that it doesn't matter, means it matters so much! When you are doing something where the money doesn't matter, but the sense of fulfillment and contentment and "right-ness" does, I believe we have achieved a real "AHHHH" (choir singing) state. :-)
Wouldn't it be awesome if we could find jobs that give us such joy throughout our entire working years? I know many are lucky enough to have a job they love; I loved teaching, but not the hours and hours of prep work and marking, meetings, phonecalls, etc. How many love all aspects of their job? I certainly do with yoga. I'd be willing to bet the neighbours I mentioned love every aspect of their post-retirement "fun" jobs. It's doing something positive, making a difference in people's lives, and feeling happy and fulfilled that you are contributing to a better community. It's doing benevolent work. This leads to benevolent thoughts and mindset, and ultimately to a happier planet. And, to be realistic, I'm not saying everyone should retire, although as each day comes and goes, I feel happier and happier! But it is so important to try our best to find something in our busy lives (for me it was sewing, and my yoga, and before yoga, aerobics) to help calm and centre us when stress levels are at all-time highs. Being in a quilt guild helped me contribute to causes we supported, and to me, that is so important in our society, that we find time to give, to help others. And, on that note, I should go and figure out what pattern I am going to do for the placemats I am making for Meals On Wheels that we have been asked to bring to our guild meeting later this month!