Our friends over at Wise Bread post they wish to redefine retirement. They write (formatting theirs)
Retirement [ri-tahyuhr-muhnt]: The act of retiring or the state of being retired; removal or withdrawal from service, office, or business.
You go to school.
You get a good job/career.
You work for forty years or so.
In the meantime, you find a soul mate, marry, buy a house, have kids, and live happily ever after. The kids grow up and move out.
Then you retire.
Their post is timely. Even though Wise Bread writes “you find a soul mate”, an alternative is a life of solitude It’s a choice that some Small Farm Life.com readers live.
Being alone doesn’t mean being lonely. Loneliness and alone-ness are two different experiences. There are excellent books written by authors who chose to live a small farm life solo, see them in the sidebar.
Living solo means making friends who are willing to help. There are just some tasks around a farm that take more than one person. It’s great to have friends, even great to have friends who aren’t afraid to work and are willing to pitch in when you need them. Small farm etiquette implies you will do the same and return the favor.
Being alone is important for everyone, especially for creative people and “thinkers” its a critical part of the process. Sleep is a period of being alone, and sleep is often where solutions to problems are found (aka “just sleep on it”).
Be ready for raised eyebrows. Even though more than 50% of the households in the country are headed by a single person, much of our social activities are designed around people doing things as a couple or a group. Dining out, going to movies, miniature golf and similar activities can cause people to take a second glance if you are alone Fishing, for some reason, has often been a solitary activity.
Living single is not the idyllic notion of Thoreau’s Walden or the American western cowboy. It is not better than living with others, it is an alternative. It’s a great way of life, but not for everone and deserves careful self examination before taking it on.