Semi-Retired and Loving It

Devote six years to your work but in the seventh go into solitude or among strangers so that your friends, by remembering what you were, do not prevent you from being what you have become. ~Leo Szilard

Everyone should have a sabbatical every so often. I have been working practically non-stop since I graduated from college in 1975. It has been next to impossible to separate my self from my work. Yet in recent years, I have longed to be reacquainted with who I am outside of my vocation. Not that there are radical differences, just that work (as I engaged it) has taken vital energy, energy that I now crave for learning how to be (as opposed to do) in the world. Perhaps others are able to do both at once, but I have always found it difficult, as I chose a vocation about which I was truly passionate. My colleagues were my friends; my friends were my colleagues, for the most part.

And now I am working only half-time in preparation for retirement. There is time for rest, for reflection, for getting reacquainted with my soul.

I think the concept of sabbatical is brilliant. According to Wikipedia (could be true!), 20% of British companies have a career break policy. In the U. S., it seems that only academic and spiritual work environments offer sabbaticals. And those sabbaticals can feel like just more work. I believe enlightened workplaces could offer sabbaticals that give the employee great latitude for self-exploration, with few “products” expected. Life is process. Can businesses honor the process, the individual quest for self-understanding, spiritual enlightenment if you will, and still be profitable? I believe so. And certainly the social services should give inherently underpaid and overstressed employees a periodic break from their labors.

What do you think?

3 Responses to Semi-Retired and Loving It

  1. Teresa says:

    I love your blog from this week, and of course, am in total agreement. I don’t know why this country believes that the best thing for our citizens to do is to work ourselves to death for 30 or so years, then retire and have to be a Wal-Mart greeter to make ends meet until we die.

    Believe it or not, I had planned to post something cheery. Guess that didn’t happen this time. Sorry! Oh, but I did want to tell you about a church sign I saw yesterday which gave me great hope. As you know, I love church signs. This one read: “He has risen! He is not a rabbit! He is the rabbi!” I’m betting the kids at that church didn’t get to have an easter egg hunt this year. Sorry kiddos! Better luck next time!

  2. Lyn says:

    Or maybe the church just has a sense of humor–stranger things have happenened. Thanks for making me laugh.

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Adam Edvalson. Adam Edvalson said: Semi-Retired and Loving It « Quotesqueen's Weblog […]

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