Imagine! More than 1,950 years ago, Roman philosopher/politician Seneca shared a commentary on retirement.
“Retirement without the love of letters is a living burial.”
(As a newly retired teacher-librarian, I personally agree! …I can’t imagine retirement without being able to immerse myself in reading.)
While his commentary is consistent with his being a philosopher– a man of letters–the unfortunate reality is that Seneca did not get to enjoy retirement–of any kind.
The other hat he wore stood in the way.
Rather than being permitted to retire from politics, as requested, as a result of his being (falsely?) implicated in an assassination plot against the emperor, he was asked to remove himself from government involvement–literally– by taking his own life.
(Whew! That is tough stuff!)
Fortunately, Seneca’s writings have survived, traveling through nearly twenty centuries to inform today’s posting.
Now that I am enjoying a retirement with love of letters, there are other two pieces of Seneca’s sage advice that I believe will serve me well within that retirement (despite, in the second case, the masculine pronoun reference).
“One should count each day as a separate life.”
“If a man does not know to what port he is steering, no wind is favorable to him.”
Admittedly, each weighty quote of Seneca’s demands some pondering. …Good thing I have all the time in this world now to ponder!…And to find ideas from the books I read to lend insight and perspective.
What sage advice has guided you in retirement?
Perhaps not as philosophical as Seneca, but I have always loved the Lewis Carroll quote from Alice in Wonderland…
“Would you tell me please which way I should go from here?” said Alice
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to”. Said the Cat.
“I don’t care much where….” Said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go”. Said the Cat
Defining my path forward has been a big part of the first 12 months of my retirement. Not just where do I want to go (not should…want) but also who do I want to be! Having this vision, as Seneca would say, means winds can be favorable. And serendipity will happen.
Well said–as always! …Read that this is 150th anniversary year for A-in-W; Morgan Library & Museum in NYC has special exhibits thru 10/12: http://www.themorgan.org/exhibitions/alice …Seneca & Carroll–reminders to have destination in sight. That’s what I so appreciate about the “Outer Circle.” Good friends to help set and stay the course. Peace! Thanks for taking time to read and to extend the conversation with insights and information!
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