Since we’ve started this blog, I’ve become very aware of the word “unretirement”.
Do you know where the word unretirement (or unretire) shows up a lot? In sports. Professional athletes decide to retire and then unretire. Some famous sports figures who’ve unretired include Michael Jordan, Brett Favre, Roger Clemens, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Bjorn Borg. It made me realize that if athletes can unretire, then so can we.
There’s no rule that says once we retire, we have to stay retired. If you define your current status as retired and want to do more, do it. If in a few years, you decide that you’ve had enough and want to do something else or just retire, that’s fine too.
I believe that’s the beauty of unretirement.
I will say though, that this approach takes a little thought and planning. Like athletes, we have to decide if we’re both physically and mentally able to perform a task that may be required in unretirement. Athletes cannot play a sport forever. They know it. But they might be able to transition into a role that allows them to use their existing knowledge and skills in a new way. Like the athlete that becomes a coach or a broadcaster. Troy Aikman and Cris Collingsworth are examples. A big potential unretiree for 2017-2018 is former Dallas star quarterback (now CBS sportscaster) Tony Romo.
We also have to be honest with ourselves about how much we want to do something. Just because we’ve done a job for years doesn’t mean we have to keep doing it in our unretirement. It’s okay to try something new. If former Seattle Seahawks star running back Marshawn Lynch can unretire from football and make chocolate bars, then you can totally make a change too.
Unretirement isn’t a new concept. Maybe using the word “unretire” is. I think what’s new is giving ourselves permission to officially unretire and pursue something we really enjoy.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while wandering the streets of Reykjavik, Iceland