Retirement; Life’s Greatest Adventure

Written by Bill Leavitt. Posted in Senior Living

Published on August 04, 2021 with No Comments

An interesting comedy TV show we sometimes watch on cable is called “The Kaminski Method.”  It features Michael Douglas and several other “older” stars, such as Alan Arkin, and deals with some of the issues that seniors have.  A line in the script struck me as very philosophical.  One of the characters mentioned that after a career of teaching, when he looked back on his life, he wondered, “What did I do with my life?”

Since he was a teacher, he must have helped a lot of people to better lives, so what did he mean?  Does he regret his path in life?  Actually, his attitude is typical of many seniors, especially among professionals.  

We often begin our adult lives with grandiose plans, such as planning to become the president, professional athlete, rock star, or a movie star.  As time goes by, the reality of earning a living, getting married and raising a family forces us to follow a more conservative path.  When we retire, we may have felt that our lives were kind of boring and uneventful.  The truth is, that sometimes when we retire, we focus too much on the past and what it could have been, instead of the opportunities of the future.  

Remember, it is never too late to make a difference.  You can still do things that help others, bring you fame and fortune, or at least make you feel you have “done something with your life.”  

The character in the TV show decided to go to acting school to see if he could have a career as an actor.  We don’t know if he succeeded or not, but the point is he attempted to achieve something he had missed as a young man.  

If you have feelings of regret about what could have been, stop and think about what you have achieved.  Perhaps you excelled in your work.  Perhaps you successfully raised a family.  Perhaps your work did some good for others and you just haven’t realized that.  

When I published my book on retirement, I didn’t have great early success selling it.  But my wife said that if just one person read my book and had a happier, more fulfilling retirement, then I was a success.  She was right.  Don’t focus on what things you didn’t succeed at, but what things you did achieve.  

Also, find something you want to do that can be “doing something with your life,” and go do it.  Success is not necessarily a goal but working toward something positive can be very fulfilling.

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About Bill Leavitt

All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle. Bill Leavitt is a technical writer from Valparaiso. After retiring from a large corporation in Chicago, he did technical writing consulting for many companies. He currently teaches part-time at Purdue University Calumet. You can order Leavitt’s book, “Retirement: Life’s Greatest Adventure,” by sending $16.65 (includes shipping and sales tax) made payable to Write On Technical Writing, Inc., P.O. Box 132,Valparaiso, IN 46384-0132. Or, visit for more information.

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