The Down Side of Retirement…had to look hard to find one.

I have written a book, done radio shows and podcasts and written blogs and articles about how much I love retirement. However, that is not 100% true. Now that I have been retired for over a dozen years, I can tell you that there is really only one thing I miss from my former career…belonging to something that was MUCH larger than me as an individual. I miss that.

What brings this up is seeing a lot of interesting things going on at my old employer, Zurich. A good friend and former team mate rejoined them recently. Zurich just concluded their terrific PGA golf tournament. Their business is up and running and doing well. And a few people I care about a lot are still involved at Zurich and enjoying fantastic careers. Yeah…I miss being an insider to all that activity.

There is something about being a small part of something really big. Even if you rise to some high level in that organization, truth is…you are still a small part of the overall. You find that out the day you retire…they go right on without you. Who knew?

It turns out that it is pretty darn hard to have it all…at the same time. If I were still working 60 hours a week, I would not have time for dolphins, waves, volcanoes, photography, my friends and family, writing, being a business owner with my wife and our partner and my daily nap. I would not have time to find out what else is in me. I sure wouldn’t have much time for…me.

And, I am still a small part of something MUCH larger…a community, the world and universe. I understand now why people stay so involved in religion…or a volunteer organization…or are just filled with aloha and want to connect with everyone around them. We probably all have some need to be a small part of something MUCH larger…at all points in our lives.

There is a time for everything in life. I decided a long time ago to embrace and love what it is I am doing now…and not worry too much about what was or what is past. And that attitude allows me to be genuinely happy for those still involved in their primary careers…to cheer on their success and to be there for them during the rough patches we all go through during long careers.

For those who are on that last lap at work…enjoy the time…there are parts of your current life you will miss down the road…but it is highly likely that you will be having too much fun to spend much time worrying about it. Aloha all.