WHERE? A place no one but you will ever visit.

WHEN? Now… Tomorrow… Whenever you choose.

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST? No money. Only time and courage.

Yep, you probably are on the verge of guessing it — a trip back to your past.

What does this have to do with retirement?

Time. Freedom. Enough money to get by on. All the tools that most of us never had before.

Like Janis Joplin and Kris Kristofferson sang in BOBBY MCGEE, Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose, nothing ain’t worth nothing but it’s free. Feeling good was easy lord when Bobby sang the blues. Feeling good was good enough for me, good enough for me and Bobby McGee.

I’m serious. When else in your life have you had the time to just hang out with yourself? No worries about getting good grades. No worries about making the football or dance team, no issues with your parents, getting a date Saturday night isn’t a big deal — every night is like a Saturday night and on and on.

Time’s running out. Often this is the endgame. How long will it last? Who knows? Ten years? Twenty years? Thirty? Who cares? It’s out of our hands. No power to predict.

But the power we have is significant. FREEDOM!

Remember your first date? What did she look like? What did she say? What did he say? What did you say? First kiss? First love? First fight? First job? First time you ate pizza. You get the idea.

Settle down in your favorite chair, in bed, on a bike, Starbucks, on a long car trip…anywhere, anytime. Let your thoughts wander. Have the courage to remember…the good, the bad, the ugly… Hey, what a great title. You think anyone has ever used that before? Ha Ha

It won’t be easy. Sometimes the pain might well up, just as powerfully as it did so long ago. But, so will the love, and excitement, and sense that life is a continuum, and we can retrace our steps.


It’s a chance to reconnect with our past, with friends and experiences we haven’t thought about in years. A chance to relearn what was important and what might still be important. Maybe even a chance to do what you never did, to feel again what you thought was gone forever.

It’s not too late to take the trip of a lifetime.

If you enjoyed reading, Inside the Mind of a Psychiatrist, you might also enjoy Dr. Smukler’s novels, Chasing Backwards, a psychological murder mystery, Skin Dance, a mystery, and The Man with a Microphone in his Ear. All are available as paperbacks and eBooks.

2 thoughts on “RETIRED? TAKE THE MOST UNIQUE, ONE-OF-A-KIND JOURNEY OF YOUR LIFE, by Art Smukler MD, author and psychiatrist

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