In the news today, I happened to come across an article about David Letterman. When he was on TV, I admired (even if I always did not agree with his manners) his quick wit and humorous ways with his guests and the audience. Since his retirement, I saw a picture of him that was posted everywhere showing him with an out of control mountain man beard looking as if he had aged 20 years in such a short span of time. WOW! At that time, I don't remember reading much about it. Just the picture! It even crossed my mind that it was a joke.
Then today in the news, apparently, he had attended a State Dinner and was interviewed while there. He had some interesting thoughts that he shared. He stated that retirement affects your self-esteem; in fact he used the words that it ruined his self-esteem. When asked about his white straggly beard he said that he knew people were put off by it. His wife and twelve year old son have told him that they absolutely hate it and have asked him many times to please shave it. His comment was that the more he sees the adverse reactions and the more he hears suggestions to get rid of it, that it makes him more determined to NOT shave it. (Oppositional Defiant was the term that came to my mind.)
David Letterman said that when he finally was not on TV his goal would be no more shaving every day. He claimed that he had to get up and shave for 33 years. Mr. Letterman also added that he has been enjoying his "creepy look." (His words - not mine) Having some knowledge of behavioral disorders, there was another disorder that came to my mind and that was Attention Seeking. If I can't get attention in a positive manner, than I will get it in a negative manner, as long as I receive attention. Even when I heard him speak briefly at the function, he did not sound like the David Letterman I remember hearing just a year ago. He sounded like a 90 year old man. Almost, as if he had given up on life itself.
If you were the star of your own TV show for the number of years that he was, just imagine the hardship of going from a STAR to nothingness (and this nothingness is most definitely in his own mind). The ego must be playing a major role in his emotional being.
You see, I have found out, and luckily knew in advance, of my own retirement that being ready financially is only one small part of the whole picture. You must be ready emotionally and socially. Think of how many people that you know who go from being the star of it all and then retiring and just withering into nothingness. I know that I have seen it. They had made no plans for what would be next.
Definitely, I am not an expert on retirement. It is quite new to me, as I retired just 5 months ago. All I can say is that before you retire have a plan in place that does not just include finances. That is important. It is very important to be ready for taking charge of building your own structure to your new life. I loved what I did most of the time, however, now that I have a more creative daily structure, I now know this is what I was most definitely cut out to do.
There is a book titled How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free by Ernie Zelinski. This book offers inspirational advice on how to enjoy life to its fullest by taking charge of your mental, physical and spiritual health. I highly recommend this book to anyone thinking of retiring.
One of David Letterman's skits included the Top Ten Lists. In the book that I recommended, Mr. Zelinski has a list of 25 Reasons to Retire Early.
In honor of David Letterman, I am sharing my Top Ten from this book:
10. You get to set your own agenda.
9. You have no daily rush hour traffic to contend.
8. You have plenty of time to eat out with friends.
7. By doing things when everyone else is at work, you can be much more efficient and less hurried at the same time.
6. You can take a nap when the urge hits.
5. You don't have to work through your lunchtime.
4. You have fewer headaches because life is simpler.
3. You have time to do all the things you always wanted to do but
never had the time.
2. It is easier to be spontaneous.
1. More than any other time in your life, you have the opportunity to put all areas of your life in proper balance.
There is something uplifting about following your own dreams instead of someone else's.