Retirement should be called reliving – not retiring. As in a chance to relive life – to the fullest!
If there is one word Mary and I have never been fond of, it is the word retirement.
Retire means ceasing to work. To stop. To quit. It conjures up thoughts of rocking chairs, and sedentary thoughts and actions.
It is certainly not something that we would ever want to look forward to.
But RELIVING – now that is a word we can wrap our lives around! And that is exactly what we are going to do from here on out.
Yes, we have decided it is time to do what we love full-time. And now, why we are fully able and can do it, enjoy it, and live it.
Like spending more time gardening. Spending more time creating new projects around the farm, or cooking up new recipes in the kitchen. And spending more time seeing the country and the back roads every chance we get.
But perhaps most of all, finally having time to devote our life to the three things we love most – travelling, writing and speaking together about all of those wonderful things listed above!
So before we go any further, for those that follow along with our story – it is about to take a gigantic new direction.
Yes – it is official, at the end of this year, we are coming back to the farm full-time.
I am following in Mary’s footsteps and reliving early, (or retiring early if you must), and we are coming back to call the farm our permanent residence for good.
Leaving a traditional work life should be a chance to celebrate life. An opportunity to live and do all of the things you could never do when you were working.
Nothing in life is guaranteed. Nothing is promised. You have to make the most of every hour, every day, and every experience and memory you can. And that is exactly what we are going to do.
Downsizing – Living Simple To Live Life
A few years back, we created a plan. We knew if we could downsize our home, our life and our lifestyle, that perhaps we could save faster for the day that we could leave it all to relive a little early.
We worked many a morning and weekend to create the farm, the websites, and a few books, and a path to new life to working on things we enjoyed. It was the entire basis of our first book, Growing Simple.
All the while in the beginning, we maintained our professional careers as well. The detour for us to Nashville for my work during the last year was an amazing time and an eye-opening adventure. We fell in love with the people there. We immersed ourselves in experiences every chance we could.
I was absolutely blessed to work alongside some of the most amazing people during my time there. It made this decision to follow our dreams full-time all the harder.
But in the end, we knew it was time to live and experience the things we love to do full-time.
A Chance To Relive Now!
Just because we might be leaving the traditional day-to-day work life – we are certainly not going to stop. Or cease. Or do any of those other “retirement” type words.
Especially when it comes to the things we love the most.
Two years ago, with the blog continuing to grow, our second book underway, and a growing slate of speaking engagements, we decided that something had to give.
On one hand, it was what we loved to do most. On the other hand, it was becoming more and more difficult to juggle it all with two full-time careers.
And anyone that knows us, knows we operate by one simple rule – we need to enjoy and love what we are doing, or it is not worth doing.
So we made a decision that Mary would go first.
And she has never looked back. She took over more of the writing for our Old World Garden Farms website, and even started her own Make Your Meals recipe site.
As crazy as it sounds, the more she did what she loved, the more it worked out. And the bonus for her early retirement was she now had the opportunity to travel whenever she wanted with me as well.
Reliving Early – The Plan
So why did we choose the word reliving. Because to us, that is what retiring should be all about. A chance to live and do all of the things that having a traditional 9 to 5 job kept you from ever doing.
For me, I learned a hard, valuable lesson from my dad. It has stayed with me forever.
My father passed away at a way too young age of 56. I was 13 at the time.
Although he and my mother had an incredibly wonderful life – I am sure that there were so many amazing things they had planned on doing together – and never got the chance.
For us, we want no regrets.
So what are we really going to do in our relivingment? Well, live of course!
We will continue to write and create all sorts of projects at the farm. Mary will continue to grow and write for her recipe site as well.
We will dive into a whole new slew of DIY projects at the farm. After all, I will need to continue to work harder outside at the farm just to work the added weight off from trialing all of her new recipes. ( A hard job, but I need to do my share and help 🙂 )
As far as the farm goes, there is a plan for it as well. We will begin to host monthly summer farm to table dinners, and a few events here and there as well. It is always been our goal to host a wedding or two there – and hopefully now we can do that a time or two each year.
THE BIG ONE – ONE MAJOR FINAL GOAL
But there is one incredibly massive goal that needs to be crossed off our bucket list before we officially come back to the farm for good. And we feel like it is the perfect way to celebrate and kick off our Reliving career.
It is incredible, it will be amazing – and we cannot simply wait to share it with you.
And to be honest, today’s story is enough to take in for today. So that story will wait until next week.
I know, I know…a cliffhanger indeed.
Here’s to a new life of reliving! Jim and Mary