For many, retirement has nothing to do with slowing down and retreating from the world. They just pitch in to help wherever their talents lead them. Marilyn Englander has this Perspective.
For many people the word, “retirement” conjures up a sweet chocolate truffle of delight. But for me the word has always sat like acid on the tongue. As when a friend confides, “I’m getting a divorce,” I feel a seismic shift. A divide opens up. My friend is crossing to the other side, the great unknown.
Many chuckle a little patronizingly about retirement. Letting go, slowing down, dropping out of sight, the process continuing until motion ceases altogether.
Yet I recall an old French maxim, words of wisdom to improve performance, that translates as: “Step back, the better to leap forward.”
For those fortunate to be able to retreat from the frantic rush and clamor of earning a daily dollar, this can be a moment to give back. As I look around me, I see an army of altruistic older people doing just that. They fill the gaps where there aren’t enough tax dollars or labor to keep valuable community services afloat.