As I approached retirement, I had entertained the idea that I might like to go out and get a "fun" job when I retired. Since money would no longer be an issue, it didn't really matter if I had to start all over again at entry level. It didn't really matter if it was in a field that just didn't pay very much money. And it certainly didn't matter if I failed to advance up the corporate ladder at my new endeavor. It would just be something fun, something I've always dreamed of doing. Something that I couldn't have seriously considered before retiring, being that I was engaged in making as much money as I could so I could retire.
I fantasized about working at a doggy day care, or a hip, trendy kennel. I thought I could be a full-time lookey-loo by getting a real estate or appraiser's license. I pictured myself pouring wine for out-of-towners at a nearby tasting room.
It also occurred to me to combine activities that I already enjoyed with the possibility of making money, like becoming a personal trainer, a retirement planner, an interior designer, or a travel agent. I had even thought I might enjoy using my finance background, but in a completely different environment, like a non-profit, or even the Internal Revenue Service, just to get a glimpse inside.
So why did I not go down any of these paths?
There are so many options available to me now. Spending time on hobbies that I couldn't squeeze into my workweek or exploring older interests from my childhood. Entertaining our friends more often since, while they are busy at work, we have time to cook them dinner. Learning a new sport or taking up yoga. Or ravishing that pile of books on the nightstand that lost out to sleep each night as I fell into bed exhausted from the grind. Or taking that long-promised road trip to visit an out-of-town friend. Writing, taking classes, learning a language, playing an instrument, the list goes on and on.
Here's the thing. The universe of interesting things for which no one will pay you is far greater than the universe of interesting things for which someone will. Aside from the fact that I could not possibly exhaust the entire list of appealing, non-paying activities, the only reason I would actually choose to do something "fun" within the confines of an employer-employee relationship would be for the actual money. And wasn't the whole reason I retired so that I could do what I wanted when I wanted, not what I wanted when my employer wanted?