Friday, September 2, 2016

Retirement in judo and life

When I was competing, I knew people who were far past their prime but still went out for the major tournaments and usually lost. These were competitors who were very good at one point but when that point passed they didn't have anything else. So they kept competing. Finally, too injured or too broke, they would limp off into the sunset and take a minimum wage job – because after all, they had no experience or education because they had spent so many years doing judo.

This is one of the things that I learned from judo, or more accurately, from watching people in judo – plan for what comes next.

Right now I'm thinking about retirement. If this makes any of the investors in 7 Generation Games nervous it should be quite the opposite. Those people who had no plans after competition often seem to sabotage themselves. They'd be doing well enough to make the national team but always seem to be injured when the Olympics came around or some other way never had to meet whatever goal it was they set for themselves. I'm convinced that was in part because they really didn't have a second act.

I only got as far as thinking about it. Part of my problem is that all of the things that people do when they retire I pretty much already done. Look at this list:

  • teach college – done that
  • write a book – check
  • conduct scientific research – done that too
  • teach judo as a volunteer – done that for decades
  • serve on volunteer boards – done that at all levels and no thank you
  • travel around the US – that's what I do for my job already
  • travel around the world – I've done a lot of that and I wouldn't mind doing a little bit more but that's not going to take up my whole year

, Now, I'm sure there are some options that I have forgotten, and I deliberately left off the ones I'm never going to do, like learned to knit or collect cats.

I've decided to at least start taking off a day and a half during the week. I prefer working Saturday and Sunday because it's so crowded in Santa Monica on the weekends. So, starting today I'm taking off Friday afternoons and every Wednesday. Usually, I'll be teaching judo on Fridays but it doesn't start until next week.

So, here's what I did on my afternoon off:
got a haircut(first time in three months)
took a nap
packed up boxes of clothes, shoes and household goods to ship to Louisiana for people affected by the floods
wrote three blog posts

Clearly, I still have some work to do on figuring how to spend time not working. The closest thing I have to hobby is getting rid of things.(If you don't believe me, ask my children). With kids who are always leaving things at my house and a husband whose hobby is buying things it's a challenge to reduce the clutter when I'm home. I shipped out 10 boxes to Louisiana today and have at least 40 more to pack up so I guess that will keep me busy for a while.

Hey, no one said I had to figure out this whole retirement thing in a day!

(P. S. I'm still using voice input software to write my blogs and still figuring it out, so please excuse any grammar or spelling errors. It also refuses to recognize swearing as real words – but that's another post.)


Since I'm Not Ready to Retire yet


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1 comment:

coyotelibrarian said...

Here's something you haven't (I don't think) done - run for political office! We need more people with your integrity and values.