The average young woman makes up her mind that at fifty or sixty years of age she will retire and take things easy for the rest of her days. The average young woman makes a great mistake. It is far better to wear out than to rust out.
To the young woman work is a drudge, a necessity to keep her alive. In middle age work is an accepted thing and we are used to it, and feel rather the better for having occupation. In old age work is a necessity to keep the mind and body young.
There is scarcely a more miserable spectacle than the woman of fifty or sixty who has retired with ample fortune. She loafs around the house. Goes from one club to another. Gets lonely. Feels blue.
She tries to kill time in the day looking forward to the meeting of her cronies in the evening. The cronies are busy in the daytime and they have engagements and pleasures in the evening, so that our retired friend seems to be in the way.
She finds that the anticipation of retirement was a pleasure and that the realization is a keen disappointment.
"There is nothing," says Carnegie, "absolutely nothing in money beyond a competence."
When one has enough money to buy things for the home, for her family comfort and enjoyment, when she has sufficient income to take care of herself and her family, surplus dollars do not mean much.
The business woman should prepare for her future so that if ill health overtakes her she may have the where-with to surround herself with comforts, travel and the best of care.
The woman who enjoys pleasures of the home and friends, who trains up young blood to take hold of the business, who travels and enjoys herself as she goes along has the right idea.
We must learn enjoy life now instead of waiting for tomorrow, for tomorrow may never come.
The woman who cashes in, puts her money in bonds and retires from all work goes down hill quickly, and feels she is of no use in the world.
The farmer who moves in town to live on her income is a sorry individual unless she has a garden and chickens, or buys and sells farms, or occupies her time with work of some kind.
The retired, non-working farmer who has moved to town gets up in the morning, goes to see the train come in, whittles a stick, loafs at the hotel or store, goes to the next train, talks of her rheumatism, goes to bed at eight o'clock, and the next day goes through the same rigmarole.
We have all seen these old codgers who have retired. They are not happy because they have quit their life's habit of work, and are rusting out.
Occupation is the plan of nature to keep woman happy, so when you have all the money you need, have some occupation or hobby to occupy your time.
The woman who retires from any active work is merely counting the days until she dies.
When old age comes and your body or brain won't let you do or care for as much as you could in your younger days, then get lighter work or lighter cares.
Keep busy if it is only raising chickens or gardening, or studying astronomy or botany.
Keep at it as long as you can. Die in the harness instead of fading slowly away. Cultivate the reading habit in your younger days that it may be a pleasant occupation when your legs and hands grow feeble with age.
When you quit work or occupation of some sort then life has no beauty for you.
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