I was talking to my old friend, Kyle Chandler, yesterday. He’s operated a very successful insurance company forever and he’s beginning to turn things over to Kyle Jr. But he’s questioning how he will spend his time when if and when he becomes a full-time retiree.
Kyle is a typical Boomer who is contemplating retirement with heart palpitations. In the last three months I attended four retirement parties. Two couldn’t wait for the freedom from the work-a-day world and two secretly dread the vast void that begs to be filled with exciting activities.
The latter group seems more prevalent for my fellow high-achieving baby boomers who have been racing along at 90 miles an hour and suddenly hit a “slow to 15 MPH” zone. I got whiplash when I entered but it didn’t take long to heal up. (Now I drive at 15 miles an hour just to irritate the under 65 crowd.)
They used to say that life began at forty. I always wondered who “they” were. Now I know “they” are a mystical, magical group of supreme beings who have all the answers and anecdotes for everything worldly. But “they” got it wrong this time. I submit life begins (again) at 60 or 65 or 70, take your pick.
We all deserve a mulligan at this time of our lives. A mulligan is that lovely device that allows a golfer to negate an errant shot that goes careening into rough, lake, or trap. With a mulligan, the golfer simply wills the first shot into oblivion, tees up a second shot, and takes another chance at rendering success.
Which makes me wonder, especially as I get older: why aren’t there mulligans in life? Most of us Boomers are no longer driven by material things and the almighty dollar has taken a back seat to peace and inner joy of greeting each new day still breathing. It doesn’t hurt to find new passions and pastimes. So if some of you are sputtering and struggling with retirement, just take your mulligan and start over with the attitude that REAL life doesn’t begin until 60.