RETIREMENT? NEVER!-- RECALIBRATION? YES
By: Ivory Dorsey
On my recent trip to my hometown of DeQuincy, I ran into the Editor of the DeQuincy News, at the grocery store. After chatting a while, he informed me he had a new writer for the DeQuincy news and asked if I had a story for him? My response was, I was on a very enlightening excursion and at the conclusion of my travels, I would write it and send it back to him. Well, here it is.
While in DeQuincy, I was continually referred to as “retired.” Each person was seeking a confirmation of that myth. In each case, I had to correct the person and explain that I do not believe in retirement. I choose to refer to my status as recalibration. The same thing happens to me in Atlanta and other places. As humans, we need to categorize and align things with our expectations for the sanity of our minds.
For me, it flies in the face of spontaneity which is the greatest gift of life. I live to discover what I do not know. This is especially true about what I do not know about myself. “Retirement age” is something that was discovered and claimed a long time ago when hard labor defined work. That is no more. Our gifts are so diverse that there is no reason for anyone to “retire.” It is time to recalibrate.
It is belief that as we reach the age of “adult accountability,” or life after “structured work,” we enter into “adult empowerment.” We get to define ourselves based on our history. No longer do others get to put us in a “slot or category.” Certainly, we are not to give up on life.
Through all phases of our lives we have been labeled: infant, toddler, teenager, etc. These were all necessary for an “efficient society.”
However, at some point, we must re-define ourselves based on what we know about ourselves. As at our birth, each phase is a new phase. Unlike our birth, we now have a voice and a history; why allow others to determine who we are or the phase we are in?
As toddlers, the first word we learned was “no.” Love dictated it as we needed to understand our boundaries. However, as we have lived, loved, laughed, cried, worked, and all of the other ingredients of life, we now know our boundaries. We know of responsibility, accountability, and mostly personal authority to make our own choices.
To me, I have lived my whole life for my life today. Who can define it but me? Upon leaving DeQuincy, I flew to Dallas, Texas to a national meeting of AARP. There, I experienced a smorgasbord of “retired” people. Many were engaging, many were just going through the motions of life.
Life, now that is an interesting word; “He came that we may have life and have it more abundantly!” I have discovered that nothing is more necessary or more powerful than life.
After I left Dallas, I returned to Atlanta to address a national conference of Morticians and Funeral Directors at Phillips Arena. Now that was sobering. Phillips Arena is a sports arena, yet the first thing I saw in preparing for my presentation was caskets, hearses, and other necessities for death. What a dichotomy! Life and death in the same arena! Go figure. God(He) said: “I have placed before you the choice of life and death; choose life.”
In one arena, the picture was complete. We get to choose how we live, yet we do not get to choose how we will die. He said: “It is appointed unto every man once to die and then the judgment.” So the question becomes, who is making decisions for you while you live?
It is my belief that the same person that will be in the casket when we die is the person who should make the decision while we live. Many people can and will make choices for you, however, only you will pay the ultimate consequences.
So the answer to the question: “Are you retired?” is a resounding NO. I have too much work to do; some of it I know about and much of it I do not. What I do know is this; I am the only Ivory Dorsey on the planet and no one gets to define me but the almighty God and me. While I do not know a lot of things, what I do know is this: when it comes to being me; I am simply the best there is. God (He) has already spoken: He says I am fearfully and wonderfully made. He also says He has plans for me…. I believe him and I choose life until the day I die, recalibrating along the way.
Each of us has the same privilege and promise. We can choose to fit the expected mold or slide into our own personal mold. The choice is yours. God Speed!!
Ivory Dorsey is a Speaker, Author, and Illuminator and Facilitator. For more information, go to: www.ivorydorsey.com