What’s in a Name? 3


I hate the word “retired.” It brings to mind quilts and pillows. Gone to rest. Out to pasture. But you know me, I’m “not done yet!” I’m still reinventing myself in my thoughts and in my deeds.

As far back as 2009, the Wall Street Journal reported on research that validated the saying, “You’re only as old as you feel you are.” According to science, ageist stereotypes, cultural icons, and our own self-doubting thoughts influence not only our behavior, but our health and longevity. My joy in living the second act of life is encapsulated in the poster below and the phrase, “I’m Not Retired, I’m Repurposed!”

We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far.

Swami Vivekananda

Let’s focus on the positive side of aging: slowing down, going deeper, connecting more. I’m proud to be an Elder. But for the miracle of transplant surgery nine years ago, I wouldn’t have had the privilege of growing old. My position relative to society, without a job and without any dependents at home, is as it always has been – whatever I make of it, now, in this moment, with all that I am. Let’s help eliminate ageist stereotypes from our society by using positive words and images in our own thoughts.

Print the image if you like it, or contact me to purchase it as an 8.5″ x 11″ poster on card stock so you can remind yourself daily and all your friends of the joys of moving beyond the limitations of being a mature adult.

I'm Not Retired


3 thoughts on “What’s in a Name?

  • Helen

    it’s amazing! and I hate that word ! tire- re – makes me wonder who actually likes that word. I am “retiring ” and banishing that word forever! Thanks for the nudge!

  • Linda Thomas

    I LOVE your poster Sharon! Your article is great. The word ‘retired’ doesn’t really bother me – guess because I worked so many years to earn it. But then I’m not really bothered by ‘aging’ or passing decades like my Mother was – she hated turning 60 and then 70 and then 80. I do like the thought of repurposed life though. Seems I’ve gone from working and raising children to volunteering and helping to care for grandchildren. I’ve always liked the combination!

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