Monday, September 5, 2016

What If You Already Do What You Always Wanted To Do?

The common AARP-style advice about aging or retirement is that midlife and beyond is the time to 'do what you always wanted to do.'  The assumption is that we often design our working life around financial needs and family expectations, or maybe we just stumbled into a job or our career.

Some people, like me, spend most of their careers doing exactly what they/we wanted to do. So what do we do as we age?  The typical age of someone with a job like mine is 35 - 45; I'm over 60. I can still do this but at some point I might not be 'relevant' any more. Will I know it?  Will someone tell me?  I love my job but sometimes the workload is out of control. What if I can't keep up?

Ok, maybe there are a few things I always wanted to do but have not done for a living. Writing, for example, or photography.  I've written press releases, commercials and newsletters but I used to dream of writing a column for a newspaper. The closest I've come to that is this blog. I want to write a book and I'd like to publish my poetry. I can't make a living doing those things, however, so maybe that's what I should do as I age into some kind of retirement.

I've been paid for event photography a few times so that means I have been a professional photographer, at least in the narrow definition of 'professional'. Make a living at it?  I'd starve.

So maybe the question isn't so much 'what do you want to do' as it is 'who do you want to be'?

I'll ponder that for a while and continue this later. Your thoughts?

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