Where is utopia? It turns out to be nowhere at all; a “no place” devised by Sir Thomas More as a thought experiment in socialism. Utopia may be an imaginary place, but it has played and can play an important part in our collective imaginations. It’s how we can dream a better world for ourselves in the future.
History yields many examples of utopias. For example, in the mediaeval imagination, Cockaigne was a land of idleness and luxury. This probably fitted well into a world of occasional wealth, mass poverty and feudal enslavement. The 20th century has seen many examples of political dictatorships that enacted a utopian belief of a better world. As far as I can tell, they all ended in failure and mass murder. But let’s move to a more pleasant topic.
Utopia and retirement
What could a perfect, utopian retirement possibly look like? If the internet, and its endless supply of images, can be taken as a reliable responder, then the answer to this question is simple. Retirement consists of sunsets, a loving partner, alcohol: all in a beachside setting. Interesting yes, but to me that conjures up a short holiday, not a long life in retirement.
So to think about a perfect retirement for yourself you may want to dream a little bit on your own. Go to a quiet place and imagine. Is the answer that comes to mind all about spending pleasant time with friends and family? Could it be the famous “giving back to society” that you always wanted, but never enacted? Only you know, although a retirement coach may assist.
To dream about retirement is to allow yourself the chance to come up with something amazing. Sadly, life won’t live up to that, at least not ALL the time. So now take out the pruning shears and clip the branches of your dream into a realistic template for your future.
Retirement: You won’t know what it is like until you get there.