Do a search, for “retire,” on just about any search engine with the suggestions function. And you’ll probably see something like “retire ready” or “retire age” or, the best one, “retire early.”
Yeah, if you’re gonna do it, retire early.
I mean, why work any longer than you have to, right? Work is just for those knuckleheads who don’t have a clue about how to make enough money. And let’s face it, if work was a good thing, there wouldn’t be so many people in America avoiding it. Can I get an “Amen?”
Just in case you hear a dripping noise in the background, don’t worry. It’s just the gentle, steady flow of my sarcasm.
Because I’m not a fan of this whole retire early thing. Or retire at all, for that matter. Retirement is for when your body quits and retires back to the ground from whence it came.
Side note: I like to use the word whence because it reminds me of one of those old (there aren’t any new) episodes of the Jack Benny show. And instead of me trying to explain it, watch this video. I think it’s still hilarious after all these years:
If you can’t see the video automatically, copy and paste this link: https://youtu.be/jU7M604Vck8
So funny. Mr. Benny had to explain his use of the word “whence” every time he played his song. And that reminded me of my days in creative writing classes in high school and college.
I remember how teachers told us how reading could “transport you” to just about any place you wanna go. Because stories can create word pictures. And even those two words joined together created word pictures in my head. So, I was hooked on words, on reading.
On transportation to new places, new faces, new worlds.
I became a voracious reader. First it was tales of imagination and young adventure. Huckleberry Finn. Tom Sawyer. Then it was sports. With stories of sailing ships and famous captains on the high seas. And then, science fiction. There was even a phase when I read just about every Alfred Hitchcock murder mystery book I could get my hands on. Go figure.
Some of my favorite reading was the prose and poetry of relative unknowns like William Shakespeare, Carl Sandburg, T.S. Eliot, and Rudyard Kipling.
As I graduated into the deeper words I also dived (yes dived) deep into the waters of my other lifelong love. Music.
Nothing ever felt as magical, to me, as words and music.
All the resonating tones of wind passing through the “voice box” and into my ears. No wonder it’s so often called a “gift from God.” And it’s always been my favorite gift.
It seems like yesterday, and a thousand years ago, when I started to find my way around a piano. And I’ll never forget the feeling when I first shaped words and music into original songs.
I was hooked. But it was work. Not driving a tractor or building a house kind go work. But mental work. Because I wanted to get the rhythm of the words in sync with the rhythm of the music. Not just toss out a mass of slightly rhyming words with a background beat (insert subliminal *rap*).
And I’ve worked on that words and music equation ever since. And I hope to be working on it my last day on earth. No retire early for me. Matter of fact, I hope to write and sing throughout eternity.
Give me words…give me courage…
Give me time and a powerful voice.
And when many still may hate me,
Give me Your love and I’ll always rejoice.
(lyrics from one of my songs)
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