Recently, I celebrated Father's Day on the beach! I am close to retirement and have just re-located from Seoul to Busan. Actually to Gwangali Beach in Busan to be precise. The sun is out and the weather very nice. A great time to be at the beach. The beach is crowded today so I am enjoying the beach from a nearby coffee shop. But tomorrow is a week day and I assume the beach wont be that busy. A nice part of retirement is the fact you no longer have to worry about time. I can always enjoy the beach on a weekday instead of just the weekend. I look forward to enjoying my time, not having to worry about deadlines.
Soon I will join the ranks of retired workers. My career as a lawyer will more or less be over unless my consulting business takes off. It will be time to reflect on my career, visit my kids and grandkids in the US and spend more time with my lovely wife…..of course she has her own business to run so perhaps she wont have much time to spend with me right now. My wife asked me the other day what I thought of the fact I will retire soon. My legal career ends after 40 plus years. My career- primarily with Korean companies comes to a close. I think all of us in the professional space expect to leave our respective professions a little better off when we retire. We hope that we have mentored enough younger professionals to make a difference. At least that is what I hope for as a lawyer, in-house counsel and law professor. Many of us think perhaps that we can last forever and that we should stay in the game until we die. I however don’t. I hope to pass on my knowledge in some form or fashion, but for many of us who built our careers in-house, retirement at 65 is the most likely scenario.
Looking back, I think one of life’s lessons is not to get caught up in the small stuff. Enjoy the moment if you can. Don’t get too stressed out…after all our time is limited. Enjoy the people and things around you. The office will always be there. Work will always be there, whether you feel like working or not. Some people live for work, but I would rather work to live. Time is what we only have so why waste it if we can avoid it. Sure, everyone wants to start a business and see it grow. But is growing a business the only measure of success? Is working 80 hours a week for a company or someone else's business worth it? These are questions you should ask yourself.
A number of my friends and colleagues have told me they envy the fact I am retiring. Some of them are very successful and could probably retire if they wanted too. But some of them have gotten caught up in the work till you drop mentality. Obviously, to some of them having a successful law practice or successful business is the definition of success. Some of them may have forgotten how to have fun have forgotten how to enjoy themselves. Some may only equate success with work. But is that true?
I may or may not decide to work part time or have a part time consulting business in the future. It will be on my own terms though. But right now I am content to think about retirement while sipping a glass of ice tea.