The Meaning of Morning


Arnette Travis

by Arnette Travis
Author/Activist/Advocate, RLACEI Contributing Author

“The afternoon of life is just as full of meaning as the morning. Only its meaning and purpose are different.”
-Carl Jung


fter a quiet start to 2024, I find myself in a state of urgency. “Just do it,” the motto coined by Nike propels me most days to work towards the goals I’ve set for myself. On the off days, when I feel little to no drive to get out of bed, I acknowledge the lack and give myself permission to slow down. This permission gives way to forgiveness, self-love, and gratitude.

Let me repeat that: Slowing down opens you up to forgiveness, self-love and gratitude. Every time I feel unmotivated, this process turns the tide and I have a productive day.

I started working after school at age 15 as a file clerk, and retired at age 62 as a licensed financial adviser. After working 40-plus years in mostly corporate environments, I have a strong sense of having earned the right to do what I want, when I want. I am no longer driven by competition with colleagues or myself, nor an intense desire to make more money, or to increase my status. I deserve my retirement.

But retire from what exactly? For me, there is still much to be done. Experiences to share across the life spectrum, including the evaluation and valuation of purpose, people and self. Experiences to have that range from trying certain recipes to visiting faraway places. I want to see my grandson grow into manhood. I want to spend more time with new and old friends. I want to improve my communication skills and write a memoir about my mother. Et cetera.

Retirement offers different options for work that don’t fit the old, stereotypical ideas. Your retirement means that you decide what you do to continue your life’s work from day to day. Just make sure that whatever it is, meets two criteria:

  • Does it give me a sense of purpose?
  • Does it serve or offer value to others?

What Can You Do?

Discover how to inject purpose and structure into your life to make retirement a time of happiness and freedom.