Commonly, people I have observed nearing retirement appear to embrace wholeheartedly an idea of being free to do nothing. Surprisingly, they are not speaking of lifelong ambitions or long-held goals that they have always wanted to fulfil. Perhaps what this illustrates is how un-fulfilling work is or has been for a great many of us. Work in most cases is restrictive and can be quite oppressive. Bosses and managers, more often than not lead to lead and not to serve. They are on a crusade creating stifling choking atmospheres. Work places, where given the choice the majority would not show up. Of course, this is a general depiction of the experience of work. Nevertheless, I am confident that many would agree work sucked the life out of them encouraging so many of us to look forward to a life of retired apathy.
Work to Live...
On the occasions that I have worked as an employee of organisations, it has often had an adverse impact on my wellbeing. The idea that someone would live to work is an anathema to me. We have all met them, that person whose place of belonging and value is their place of work. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy working, particularly if the project excites me. Generally, I would describe myself as hardworking but ultimately the bottom line is, work to live, not live to work.
A free spirit at the core, struggled to be part of the institutional mainstream. Then I found freedom in becoming a freelancer. A hired gun so to speak. With that freedom also came respect from the people hiring me. Simultaneously, I get to choose whether or not I want to work with them. That was the subtle difference. Technically, I work for them but because of the set time factor, we each know that it is in our joint interests to make the relationship fruitful. I’ve been a freelancer for years. The work freedoms I have enjoyed for many years I believe is the reason I am unwilling to either believe in or embrace the idea of retirement. Personalities tests are trending again, the usefulness of which can be argued. From a personal standpoint, gaining a greater awareness of my personality and strengths gave me knowledge and that knowledge gave me freedom.
Until next time, keep blooming!