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Between Austria and Italy, there is a section of the Alps called the Semmering. It is an impossibly steep, very high part of the mountains. They built a train track over these Alps to connect Vienna and Venice. They built these tracks even before there was a train in existence that could make the trip. They built it because they knew some day, the train would come.

Under the Tuscan Sun


I watched the movie Under the Tuscan Sun over the holidays; I’d seen it many times before, but it is one of those movies that if I see it’s on as I’m flipping, I always stop and watch!  (It has nothing to do with how attractive Diane Lane is.  Really.)

I haven’t seen it enough though, evidently, for as many times as I’ve seen it, I didn’t remember the “building the train track” bit.  For whatever reason, it didn’t stick.

But, now, it resonates.  The concept is staying with me now.  I think I know why.

I’ve been thinking about retirement.

*     *     *     *     *

Up until very recently, I’ve always said I didn’t think I would ever retire.  I actually like working.  Some days not, of course, but most days, I really do.  So I couldn’t envision retiring, because I couldn’t envision not working…

But I can now.  I can because I’ve re-conceived what retirement is.

The typical vision of retirement is no longer working, right?  But I’m seeing retirement now as being able to do only the work that I really love to do.  In other words, having the freedom to cherry-pick the work.

And it’s more than a “be your own boss” mindset.  This is more like I’m the customer as well as the producer; I can make what I want to buy, with no need to worry about the sell!

My train track has recently emerged as the development of my avocation.  This isn’t ground-breaking nor earth-shattering; many people, while working, dabble in a hobby or side activity that has meaning and is satisfying.

It’s just, well, for me, new thinking.

In pondering retirement, the path is rather steep.  As if climbing a mountain.  And there’s not a real train yet, that will carry me over… I trust that there will be.

But it is more than a matter of faith, and trust.  It is converting those to action.

Start laying the track.

Are you planning some change, some redirection?  Of course not necessarily retirement-oriented, but something new that you may not know the way, but you nevertheless might start preparing for?

I’m tracking.

What about you?

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