I posed that question to my oldest grandson (age 5), and his response was to be a pet store owner. We have known since he was about 15 months old that his passion was animals. He made the sounds of animals and matched them to pictures years before he talked. At age five, he knows the names of more animals and facts about those animals than I knew at age twenty. It is clearly a passion with him.
Growing up, I remember that I wanted to work in a medical office (not be a doctor like my father, or a nurse like my mother) but to do the check ins, the billings, the assisting. If I had to name one thing as my "calling" that would probably be it. It was something I enjoyed, something I was good at, and if I ever wanted to go back to work, it is what I would do. However, after 20+ years in that field, I was restless. I had accomplished that career goal, and left a wonderful job managing a neurology office for something new.
That something new was working for a New Age author and speaker. I was attracted to the metaphysical topics. I learned a lot about various practices involving spiritual counseling, psychic readings, healing, hypnotherapy, mediumship....lots of what you might call "woo woo" stuff. I still consider those things worthy tools in my tool box, but I don't use them much anymore. The main thing I learned is that is sucks to be famous. Or rather, for me, it would suck to be famous. Obsessive fans have no boundaries. There are more people out there with stalking tendencies than I would ever have imagined. Fans AND critics can be very intense. There is complete lack of any sense of privacy when you are out in public if you have a recognizable face and presence. I don't know how celebrities can stand it. At any rate, I accomplished my goal of wanting to work with this author. Leaving that job wasn't my idea, but it definitely was the best thing that could have happened to me.
I wasn't sure what I was going to do at that point. I did not feel drawn to any other profession. I didn't feel like going back to school. I was looking for new experiences but nothing that required a commitment, of sorts. I started writing a novel, but set that aside. My husband and I bought an RV and started traveling. That was fun but at the same time, we just found ourselves going from place to place visiting people. I was looking for something fresh, something new.
And my something new? Grandkids!
Growing up in West Seattle, my paternal grandparents lived about 150 miles away, in Kelso, WA. My maternal grandparents lived in Madison, WI. Most of our interaction was via letter. Occasionally, we'd have phone calls. It is so funny to remember that in the 1950s and even into the 1960s, calling "long distance" was a BIG deal! Anyway, I felt like I missed out on having that grandparent presence in my life. I really wanted to be here for my grandkids, especially until they started school and became active outside of the core family. As my older grandsons start kindergarten in the fall, I feel like I've accomplished that goal. I still want to be around for a few more years for the two younger boys who are almost 3 years old now. (Nope, no twins in case you were wondering. Both my daughter and daughter-in-law had babies within months of each other.)
I don't think we stop having goals when we retire. I think those goals may be harder to define. I'd still like to finish that novel. I took up painting, and I'm having fun with that. It is hard for me to think about goals, and separate the idea of "goals" from "making money". I'm blessed in the fact that making money is not a priority for me. It would be nice, but if it meant becoming famous (which incidentally is such an absurd idea right now - my painting and my writing are far, far away from an level of formal recognition) and losing any sense of privacy, I'd chose privacy over money any day of the week.
I have managed to come up with three goals that I think are doable.
1) I'd like to visit every state in the USA (and possibly every province in Canada) in our RV.
2) I'd like to reduce my weight by about 40 lbs in a healthy manner.
3) Now that I am grown up (at least in terms of years), I want to be a positive influence. It's as simple as that. I want to help my kids, my grandkids, my friends, my family, anyone who stumbles upon this blog, to be a wiser, kinder, gentler, more loving person, so that they may do the same for others. Yep, when I grown up, I want to be a positive influence.