If you've ever found yourself dreaming of the day you officially "retire" and all the luxury that event will bestow upon your currently enslaved and tedious life, wistfully imagining lazy days reading one of those great novels, sunning in your rocking chair, occasionally admiring the view from your retirement home in the mountains or at the beach, a cool breeze drifting by bringing the sweet smell of the perfect garden you now have time to grow, and an even cooler drink in your hand...
Well, okay, I'll admit this is also my picture of paradise until.... I saw the light in her eyes at 88!
Hazel McCallion, or "Hurricane Hazel" as she is often referred to, is and has been the mayor of Mississauga, Ontario, (6th largest city in Canada) for 30+ years. She holds the record for winning the most consecutive elections (13 now and counting!) and currently enjoys a 92% voter approval rating. Her city is 100% debt-free with a whopping $700 million in reserves! In her younger days, she played professional hockey in Montreal and still practices several times a week on the ice for fun and exercise. She turned 90 on February 13, 2011, folks. 90!
When you have a minute and need a lift, watch the video segment on Hazel below and I'm certain you'll be struck, as I was, by her contagious laugh, indomitable spirit, attitude of purpose, and full-on engagement with life. http://www.garynorth.com/public/6791.cfm
The dictionary describes the word "retire" as giving up work, withdrawing or retreating. What if...? (You remember, my favorite question, right?) What if we discarded the whole idea of traditional retirement, giving up work, or withdrawing or retreating from anything? What if, starting right now, today, this very minute we began to engage, move toward, push forward those things we do that bring us contentment, joy and personal satisfaction for the rest of our remaining days on this planet. What if our lives were not filled with things that we had to do, but rather things we got to do, things we chose to do? What if we were not waiting for the day that we could stop doing something but rather were always pursuing, until our last breath, ways to create a life filled with that which we love and enjoy? Don't you think we would have a world filled with more people like Hazel with that sparkle in their eye, that lift in their walk, that happy countenance, that productive life? Wouldn't the world be a better place to live if the scales were tipped in that direction?
I vote we officially "retire" today!
Retire from days and lives filled with drudgery and work we don't enjoy and immediately embark on a journey of seeking out and creating days and lives filled with the things we feel good about and naturally enjoy, starting today and every day for the rest of our lives. Even if you are currently in a job you don't enjoy, retire now from the belief that this is all there is and you'll somehow have to wait until you're 65 to get happy like Hazel. Start today putting the wheels in motion toward creating the life you'd love to live. (The book: Success Principles: How to get from where you are to where you want to be
by Jack Canfield is one of the best resources I know of if you just don't know where or how to start.)
Then we could all show up in this world looking, sounding, acting, interacting, and best of all, feeling like Hurricane Hazel at 90!
Look out world... I'm predicting more Hurricanes in the forecast!