Before retirement, I spent my time tending matters that I haven't tended since retirement. They were all necessary aspects of my employment, and I did them well enough to not know where I stopped what I did for a living started, but when I stopped doing it for a living, my life became my own, and now I do what I do for the sake of doing it alone. Makes a difference. In one sense, I don't get anything out of what I do, and in another, I don't do anything I don't get anything out of. I am free to live in ways that create/produce contentment, satisfaction and joy without having to meet production or make anyone happy. And I find myself doing the things I love to do with a commitment to detail that I find to be remarkable, given that no one is going to notice how well or how poorly I have done it. I see it as a testimony to the degree of importance, the level of meaning, the activity has for me, and my responsibility for doing it well is a good faith expression of devotion to myself and the activity that is an extension/incarnation of myself in my life. "What I do is me," said Gerard Manley Hopkins, "for that I came." Sometimes we have to live to retirement to discover what that means.
The world is awash in, and aswirling with, antithetical, clashing, irreconcilable, hostile, malicious, realities. Imagine the Puritans and their witch hunts, with the witches hunting back. The reality is that our realities are increasingly at odds, and violently opposed to one another. It is as though we all are shouting: "If you don't see exactly as I do, I hate you and have to kill you!" Peace and Unity is just another reality thrown into the mix. I don't know how we get this sorted out. The old Buddhists and their Dharma Battles have evolved over time into "Whoever has the most suicide bombers wins!" Wins what? The power to say what's what! To whom? For how long? Never has the entire world ever been in greater need of a Time-out than now-- a self-reflective Time-out, leading to self-realization, self-transparency, and mindful awareness of the way things are everywhere. Which is just another view of reality. Or another reality with a view. It's a mess any way you cut it. Consciousness as interpretation of reality has brought us to the point of being unable to agree about the right interpretation of reality. We are going to have to revert, or devolve, into unconsciousness to have a chance.