What is This Blog About?
“You have to put off being young until you can retire.”
Free Range Earthling is about finding fun in retirement. You have to decide for yourself what fun is. Fun can be travel, fun can be an adventure (What is Adventure?), fun can be giving back. But whatever it is, YOU have to define it on YOUR terms – no one else gets to decide this for you. Not your parents, not your family/friends, not society as a whole. This is YOUR retirement and it’s a one-time deal. So ignore the conventional wisdom. Rebel. Break rules. Be unconventional. This is a second adolescence, but this time with money!
If your children/family/neighbors aren’t a little horrified, you’re probably doing it wrong.
For many of you, there was a time in your teens and early 20s when your parents hated everything you were doing –
- “God look at that hair!”
- “You are NOT leaving the house dressed like that!”
- “I don’t care if she’s your friend, that girl is trouble. Stay away from her.”
- “What is that noise you’re listening to?! Why is there so much bass??”
- “Why are you watching this, it’s the stupidest movie ever made.”
- “You are NOT hanging out there – there’s nobody there but drug dealers and hippies.”
They constantly rolled their eyes and shook their head. But you gave everyone a big “whatever,” and forged ahead, you were pushing boundaries, ignoring conventional wisdom, blazing your own trail. Anything was possible. Well in retirement – it’s that time again. Try that attitude back on and see how it feels.
The rest of you, I assume, were probably a lot like me. We never really went through that phase! We missed out the first time around. You were always the good kid, did everything right, stayed with the program. You always played by the rules. You worked hard, had the great career, you saved, you were always practical, never splurged or wasted a dime. And it totally paid off! You don’t have to work anymore, you’re retired, you’ve made it! Good news – it’s not too late to finally have some real fun, this – right now – is your chance. Probably your last chance.
The Word “Retired” Makes Me Cringe
Frankly, I hate the term ‘retired.’ It comes with a ton of baggage. Being, old and infirmed, put out to pasture. Over. Done. Circling the drain and waiting to die. Younger people see retirees as a market of patients with ills to treat. Let them define you and you become invisible, you disappear. Free Range Earthing is for those who see all that and call bullshit!
I prefer the term ‘post career’ – but that sounds pretentious. I’m still as vital and energized as I ever was, I’m just stepping off the career treadmill to do something more fun and fulfilling. I’m not making a career change, I’m not looking for an encore career – I’m done with careers. I may work, but it will be for fun and on my terms.
I’m honestly not interested in anything like a traditional American retirement. U.S. News & World Report wrote about the most common activities for those retired in the U.S:
- Watch TV
- Lingering over meals
- Visiting grandchildren
Just shoot me now! That sounds awful. I worked and saved, and sacrificed for 40 years so I can watch TV and nap? Screw that noise, I’m going to have some fun and leave the curtains open – let the neighbors talk.
Free Range Earthing is a place where I can document that fun, look for new ideas, explore the idea of a new kind of life after your career, and connect with like-minded nonconformists looking for something better than bingo night at Sunny Acres Active Adult Retirement Community.
This blog is also a place where I can point friends and family when they ask, “So, what are you up to these days?”
Frankly, after 35 years as a writer of various kinds, I found that I missed it when I retired and really needed a creative outlet. So here is where I’ll write about things that interest me and I’ll try to keep it entertaining. Agree or disagree with me? Did I miss an important point? Leave a comment! I’ll follow up.
Also, I’m not oblivious to the light pressure that having a blog like this puts on me. Either fill it up with fun and interesting experiences, or shut it down. Let’s see how it goes!