Retirement is Not an Option
by Merle Dulmadge
You work hard all your life. You are busy creating a loving home, raising your children, building and maintaining your relationship with your spouse, spending some time with your friends and relatives, building your career, acquiring all the things you want in life. “Someday,” you say. “Someday I’ll be able to retire, take it easy and enjoy life.” I was very fortunate because I eased into my retirement. I went from full-time work to part-time and then to occasional and finally a year and a half ago I officially retired. Ahh, it felt so good to just relax, not have to set the alarm and be somewhere. After all, I worked hard all my life. I was responsible all my life and I deserved the rest. I had earned it. So I rested. I took up golf. I divided my time between our home in British Columbia and our winter get-away in Yuma, Arizona. I had time to play and visit with friends and I had more than enough time to just do nothing. It has been wonderful but when I’m honest with myself I realize that I’m beginning to get bored. I also feel like I’m not contributing much to the world. I have been living in what I call a ‘period of grace’ where nothing much has been asked or expected of me. It has been nice but I always knew it was a phase and that it would end. I’m renewed and rested and I’m now feeling the urge to jump back into life. I have worked and studied with Tanis now for 14 years and spiritual transformation has three components:
- my own spiritual development
- bringing meaning and purpose to the work I do
- world service and being a conscious co-creator – serving others and serving the greater good
Spiritual development never stops
Spiritual development never stops; it just keeps spiraling upward. When you retire you are still meant to serve and are called by Spirit and your soul to contribute to many different things. You may retire from your work career but you don’t retire from life. The work you do just changes form. Many people I know in their retirement dedicate a substantial portion of their time doing volunteer work and giving back. Some have become coaches and mentors so others can take advantage of their experience. Others have taken on projects or have become advocates for worthy causes. There are so many choices and options available. You don’t have to look very far to see opportunities to contribute.
Live your life with purpose
In the last few weeks my soul has been calling me to be full of gratitude for the period of grace I have enjoyed and I now have a restlessness to be more active. There is no such thing as retirement but we haven’t found a good word to replace it yet. At this stage of my life I have knowledge and experience and talents that need to be put to good use. Because I’m ready, the synchronicities are happening all around me, giving me clues as to the path before me. I’m excited and looking forward to what is coming next. Just working on your own spiritual development is not enough. Serving others and actively contributing to making the world a better place is what Spirit is asking of us. This is co-creation. This is why we are here. Living my life ‘on purpose’ is the most important work I can do—following my joy and bliss. I trust the Universe will help to show me the way as I continue my journey. What work I do in the world is not as important as how I do my work. Here are my words of wisdom I’d like to share with you:
You are more than what you have become.
You have untapped potential.
There are no small roles in this journey.
Merle Dulmadge Merle began studying with Tanis in 2000 and worked as the IIT Office Manager until 2011. Merle had her own consulting company (Dulmadge and Associates Inc.) specializing mainly in organizational effectiveness and leadership development until she retired in Feb. 2012. She now divides her time between her home in Lantzville, B.C., Canada on Vancouver Island and wintering in Yuma, Arizona, USA. [email protected]