Why are you counting down until you retire?

It was always the same, somewhere, in the middle of a massive meeting, you would hear “well, if this doesn’t work, at least I only have 5 years left until retirement.” – wait, what?

As a new officer at Foreign Affairs, it would shock me. I mean, why keep track of when you are planning on retiring? What is magical about retirement?

The conversations seemed to always get sidetracked, what they would do once they had the freedom, once they didn’t have anywhere to go in the morning. At first, the comments shocked me, then bothered me. Would I start counting down? It wasn’t until I hit 30 that I had a comment come my way, that ahh, now that I was 30, I had worked long enough in the department that I was becoming a lifer until retirement. I apparently, wasn’t going anywhere else, at least, that is what they thought.

That made me depressed.

Why did I want to wake up each day and countdown until retirement. Why would I want to just waste away my life and not be doing something that energized me.

Than it hit me. My Father died at 51, he never made it to retirement. He didn’t have any regrets, but I was different, I wasn’t born to work as a Diplomat, sure, I was born into the weird Diplomatic life, but I didn’t have an internal compass that pointed me to Foreign Affairs.

I didn’t want to count down to retirement, I didn’t actually want to retire!

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