Viewpoints (Juliet): Benefits with Friends
One of the many benefits of retirement is the time I now have to invest in friendships.
When we worked we had friends that we meant to call, to invite to dinner or to join at the movies, but a deadline loomed or we were exhausted from the last deadline and time slipped away.
Now that I have retired from the practice of law, my friends have become an integral part of my infrastructure. My network has provided me with companionship and entertainment, and the deepening bonds, and friends of friends who become new friends, have led to new business ventures, angel investments and numerous opportunities for pro bono work.
The potential exists to slide back into the no-time-for-friends mode. But now we are able to control our priorities in ways we couldn't while we worked and raised children. My new business partner and I have agreed that if one of us has an opportunity to travel, to do good or simply to do something exciting, we go for that opportunity. Of course, we are not as profitable as we could be, but we nurture our ambitions differently now, and our friendship thrives.
I have just lost one of my dearest friends in London to ALS. While I am still grieving this loss, I draw much comfort from all the visits I made to her, and the times we were able to share together even as she declined. An electric wheelchair enabled her to leave her house and we spent many hours over the past year or so talking and connecting as we sat in the V&A, or even a cocktail bar or two.
I would not have had the privilege and luxury of our time together, and the peace it has brought me, if it weren't for the years of hard work that gave me financial security, and the consequent freedom to go where I want and do what I want. It is those years of intense pressure and tight schedules that have also given me the skills and confidence to participate in new ventures and opportunities. More importantly, those years have given me a profound appreciation of the time I can now invest in relationships that outlast everything else.
Juliet is a retired bi-continental lawyer, very stylish, whose second career is in real estate.