Saturday, July 01, 2006

Early Retirement

I have returned home from a day at the beach and as The Southerner said, "It rejuvinates the soul like nothing else." I have always had a love affair with the summer. My favorite part has always been laying out on the sand, squishing the sand between my toes and fingers, having the ocean breeze flutter through my hair, taking a dip into the ocean when I get too hot - I even like the salty film it leaves behind.

Today, I have decided on two more goals:

1) I really hope to have an early retirement - hopefully sometime in my early 40s. I understand that this will be difficult to do. I understand that it will be highly unlikely. However, I can still hope to retire at an age when I still have the physical capability to go out, explore, and experience new things.

2) When I retire, I would like to have a house on the beach. I don't want to settle for an apartment because there are tasks I'd like this house to aid me in performing. I want to be able to wake up in the morning and sit on my front porch to enjoy the warm ocean breeze. I want to sit outside and watch the sunset. I want to be able to have my friends and family come over (and stay over) and breathe life into my home. I want to entertain my guests with elegant cocktail receptions, charming breakfasts, casual lunches, dynamic conversation, and stories of years past. I want to enjoy these things without having to deal with the hustle and bustle and stress of being at work.

Money isn't everything. Time is much more precious. Most of our time shouldn't be spent slaving away at a desk. It should be spent fostering the relationships that make our lives worthwhile. I won't look back one day and say, "Yes! I really enjoyed that time I stayed at work until midnight staring at the computer screen so I could make that event perfect." Instead, I will look back fondly at the little moments - sitting around chattering and chortling with my nearest and dearest, a look, a glance, a hug at a time it was needed the most. Retiring early will give me more of these valuable memories and will make my life all the more worthwhile.