What do you fear about retirement?

May 5, 2012

Being Alone in Retirement Is Better Than Being in Bad Company

If you are looking for the very best retirement quotes, then go to the Retirement Quotes Cafe:

I received the following e-mail today about The Joy of Not Working:
    Mr. Zelinski:
    One chapter [in The Joy of Not Working] that really resonated with me was Chapter 10, It Is Better To Be Alone Than in Bad Company.

    All my adult life I've not minded in the least being alone. Don't get me wrong, I love my friends. But at the end of the day, I love coming home where it's just me & the cat & my eleven bajillion books a comfy place to read them.

    I've always been sorry for people who confuse being alone with being lonely. A couple of years ago I had a temp job where I worked the front desk for an office. My location was slightly separated from the rest of the work force. Consequently, I was often all by myself. About once a month, someone would stroll by & comment on how 'lonely' I must be. I would smile & assure them that I was NOT lonely, in fact I found my situation to be enjoyable. They would first look confused and then they would walk away making some comment that indicated they didn't believe a word I'd said. I don't think they ever knew how sorry I felt for them & their misperceptions.

    I may be passing your book along to a recently retired friend. She seems to be at loose ends now that she doesn't have a boss telling her how to use her time. On the other hand, I may direct her to her closest book store to get your book on retirement  [How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free]. It couldn't hurt.

    Vanessa W, Rio Rancho, NM
Here are a few quotations about loneliness and being alone to place solitude and loneliness in proper perspective:
    When from our better selves we have too long Been parted by the hurrying world, and droop, Sick of its business, of its pleasures tired, How gracious, how benign, is Solitude.
    — from The Prelude by William Wordsworth
    A man who finds no satisfaction in himself, seeks for it in vain elsewhere.
     — Francois, Duc de La Rochefoucauld

    City Life: Millions of people being lonesome together.
     — Henry David Thoreau

    When all is said and done, monotony may after all be the best condition for creation.
     — Margaret Sackville

    Conversation enriches the understanding, but solitude is the school of genius.
    — Edward Gibbon

    Knowing others is wisdom. Knowing yourself is Enlightenment.
    — Lao Tzu

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