Lessons in Retirement

December 22, 2021

I was recently in Seoul.  While hanging out in my favorite coffee shop in Itaewon after a few meetings I started to think about retirement, current events, and what my friends in Seoul are up to.  I still like to meet up with friends and former colleagues if possible though sometimes meetings keep me busier than expected.

One of the lessons of retirement is that the company or organization you worked hard for and perhaps stayed up at night worrying about still goes on without you.  Friends and colleagues may be happy to meet you (or maybe not) but at the end of the meeting they go back to work- without you!  It may be hard to adjust to the fact you are no longer relevant to the company you worked for and some of your colleagues may no longer even think about you.  In fact, what you think or do no longer matters to the company.

I am trying to figure out what to do next as I may live another 25-30 years.  Obviously, my legal career is basically over.  It really hit me when I had my 40th law school reunion on Zoom.  40 years of practicing law, working for companies and law firms.  Though some of my classmates still work, some like me have retired or left the practice of law altogether. Many are no longer working.  Like me, they get to practice their golf swing!  I also get to work on my Korean.

Though I miss the practice of law sometimes, I do not miss trying to bring in business, filling out timesheets, or attending client meetings in which the client expected me to pull a rabbit out of a hat.   It was draining to have people always approach me with legal questions on the street or at cocktail parties (expecting free legal advice) even though many of the questions covered topics I was not well versed in nor interested in. 

Now I get to reflect on my passions and what I want to do.  Remember, one of the lessons of retirement is the fact you are now in a different stage of life. The past is the past.  Companies you worked for are no longer interested in you. Nor do they care what you think. You have to think about the next steps on your own.

What do you want to do?

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