Retirement: I am Enough

by Ripley
(Retirement Community)

I have been exploring this territory known as retirement.

The obvious message that comes with retirement is that I no longer have to "earn" a living. What that really means to me is that I no longer have to prove to anyone, including myself, that I have to "earn" the right to exist.

I now suddenly have the right to be here, to enjoy life, to accept myself exactly as I am. I no longer have to pass exams, be evaluated or jump through hoops to demonstrate that I am worth something or that I can keep up with everybody else.

Why does it take most of us a lifetime of bending over backward to please others before we realize that we've been okay all along and that we don't really have to prove anything to anybody?

I finally know that I am enough simply because I exist. I do not have to question if my existence is valid. I am here to be exactly who I am because nobody else can play my part as well as I can.

I do not have to deserve to be here. I no longer have to push myself or be in a state of panic to achieve something beyond simply being myself.

If retirement has taught me anything, it's that I have always been enough and I don't have anything else to prove.

Comments for Retirement: I am Enough

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Godspeed to Ripley!
by: HAS

Happy 'Well earned retirement'.

I have a question for Marltonfan of N.j. who retired six months ago at age 60. I am planning to do it - 'God Willing' next year at age 63.

My biggest fear is the killing Health care costs for next two years till qualify for Medicare. How do you and friends like early retirees manage to afford the insanely unaffordable health care premiums with a moderate pension + Early Social Security payments with an spouse another 6 years to qualify for Medicare.

Please advice and if possible give me a ball park cost per month.

Thanks to you and Wendy for this valuable service to all of us!

Re: I am Enough
by: Anonymous

Hi Ripley,

Your piece was said in a way similar to what I feel after working so hard for 43 years, always trying to prove my worth...

Now I am taking everything in stride, just enjoying the freedom of simply just being myself... What makes the difference is that I am now trying to prove only to myself my real worth.

Right after retirement, I ventured into banana farming and very successful at that...

Had I known earlier my real worth, I could have retired much earlier....

I am enough
by: Marltonfan,New Jersey

I just retired six months ago at 60. I am proud that I was able to retire when I did because it confirms I did all the right things.

When I was leaving a coworker said it good to see him leave when there is something left of him!

When we know we are enough
by: Elna Nugent, Lenox, MA

Dear Ripley:

You have written a message everyone can learn from .It seems to take many decades, many learnings, and many struggles to realize we don't have to be more than we already are.

Here is part of a poem written by a Native American father:

"I salute the light within your eyes where the whole Universe dwells. For when you are in that center within you and I am in that place within me, we shall be one.... Oglata Lakota, Sioux

who we are
by: diane

What an interesting comment I never thought of working life that way but it is so true.

I always knew that once you retired you were just one more old person and it didn't matter what you had done for a living or how important you were we are all the same when we retire.

I have retired for 3 years now and some people I find still refer to themselves by what they used to do but most of us have let go of that and we are now all just one.

Spot On
by: Ricardo U.S.A.

Your comments on retirement and ALL of us was exquisite.....plain and closed. Thank you for validating ALL of us!!!

by: Len, Palau

So true! I do lose myself in my work because it dictates all that I must do in a day. Most days I let go of lunch hours or put in extra time because of a deadline or other activities the following day.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It does really help.

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