Here’s a fact that may surprise you: The original Game of Life, created in 1860, concluded when the players reached the “happy old age” of 50!
If you’ve already reached that milestone age, think of all the things you’ve done since getting there. You would have only been able to reach all the achievements and adventures with the wisdom and experience you accumulated through life.
Now, the Game of Life has changed and adapted since that initial version over a century and a half ago. Life expectancy and shifts in societal expectations mean no one anticipates people going quietly into retirement at age 50. But that is the primary purpose of the board game, then and now. Work, start a family, advance in your career, and eventually achieve the ultimate goal of a nice, quiet retirement.
For some, that sounds like the perfect life. But for many, and I’d be willing to bet that includes many reading this newsletter, that doesn’t sound appealing at all! Who wants to recede from life just when they have reached a point where, thanks to skills and insight earned through years of living, they genuinely have something worthwhile to share?
IVC Philadelphia/South Jersey member George Whelan sums it up nicely, explaining, “As I approached retirement and the ‘golden years,’ I found myself thinking a lot about just what I would be doing in the last part of my life. I had had a full plate of success and failures in my career where I had collected some scars as well as some accolades.” But what would come next?
You all recognize retirement as another stage on life’s journey, not the final destination. In many ways, it’s the beginning of one of the most rewarding phases of life. For those who joined the corps, you put in the time and gave so much of yourself during your working life; you can now do what you choose to do, what you believe to be of value. Through service, you directly impact the lives of those in need and contribute to addressing some of the most pressing social issues of our time.
Jane Seaberg, also of IVC Philadelphia/South Jersey, explains, “When I decided to retire after working almost 40 years in education, it was essential to continue growing intellectually, spiritually, physically and culturally; to be part of a community; to be challenged; to have friends and colleagues who would bring out the best in me; and to be the change I want to see in the world. Being a member of IVC has rewarded me with all this and more.”
And this is why so many have chosen to be a part of the journey of IVC; they know how much more there is to give. They have seen no reason to sideline themselves when their gifts and time can make a difference in their communities. They recognize that spiritual life continues to deepen and can become much richer when shared with others who hold the same values.
Each day our members choose not to see retirement as an afterthought, something to experience passively. IVC Denver member Peter Quintero even believes that his time spent with IVC has offered a richness that surpasses career achievements, stating, “My IVC volunteer work has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life: more than my military service in the U.S. Army, teaching at the University of Colorado Medical School of Medicine and 35 years in private practice neurology.” Peter’s experience mirrors so many IVC members’ experiences who have chosen to chart a path on their journey and the journey of IVC. Because of their choice, they are changing the face of retirement and, in fact, the game of life for the better!