Thought for the day: I am never going to "retire".
It's interesting, when I begin to chat with people about retirement--the whole saving-up-money, 401K, you-should-have-started-your-retirement-fund-a-long-time-ago stuff that has the power to make us fear the future, if we let it. I've discovered that I have an alarming number of friends who have no retirement plan. Literally. And some of these folks are old enough (in my opinion) that they should probably have a substantial nest egg by now. Yet they don't.
My husband is notorious for wringing his hands over this stuff. And I try to stay away from the gloom-and-doom thoughts as much as possible.
Here's the thing. I've been writing for years, but it isn't an actual career yet. (I mean, it is. It's what I do best, and it's what I do the most. Besides eating chocolate.) But inherent in the word career is the whole idea of making a living. And that, as you know, I'm not doing. Yet.
BUT. For me, there isn't a "countdown to retirement". I intend to write until my fingers stop moving and I'm ready to dance off to heaven. There is no such thing as "aging out" of writing, and there's no reason to set it aside at some pre-designated age, just because that's what people do.
So while my husband will certainly enter the realms of Official Retirement some day, I will not. He can putter around the yard and volunteer at the homeless shelter while I sit at my desk and work on my latest WIP. Or edit a client's work. Or schedule my next book tour.
Yep. That's my dream. 85 and still going strong. And I'm holding fast to it.
My (fabulous amazing inspiring) piano teacher from college is in his early 80s and still performing. He officially retired from the university at least a decade ago, but he has not, in the strictest sense, retired. My desktop photo is a black and white shot of his hands on a piano keyboard, taken by his daughter. The fingers are gnarled and knobby--and beautiful. I know those hands--I've heard them play so many times. He is a master, and he's just going to keep going until he's finished breathing.
I want to be like him.
(Well, I'll never play as well as he does, because I stopped being a rabid, practice-5-hours-a-day pianist once I graduated. But I want words to flow from my fingers instead of music, well into my aren't-you-retired-yet years.)
Writing isn't my job--it is my life's work. There is a difference. And "life" doesn't end at 65 or 70 or whatever arbitrary "retirement age" people throw about.
So there you have it--another piece of my heart. (Treat it well, as you always do!) Now tell me YOUR plans. Will you spend the rest of your life writing? Or do you long for the day when you can set down your quill and enjoy a cup of tea on the porch instead? We all have different dreams, and I'd love to hear yours!