One of the most difficult decisions to make in the context of retirements or scaling down is to know if what one has is enough. I know first-hand that these doubts never go away. There are always scenarios in which the savings seem inadequate.
In light of that, I really liked this poem by a favorite writer of mine – Kurt Vonnegut. (I found the poem in Bob Sutton's blog, Work Matters)
It's a small poem that appeared in the New Yorker back in '05. I am posting it in full.
True story, Word of Honor:
Joseph Heller, an important and funny writer
and I were at a party given by a billionaire
on Shelter Island.
I said, "Joe, how does it make you feel
to know that our host only yesterday
may have made more money
than your novel 'Catch-22'
has earned in its entire history?"
And Joe said, "I've got something he can never have."
And I said, "What on earth could that be, Joe?"
And Joe said, "The knowledge that I've got enough."
Not bad! Rest in peace!"
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