OPINION: What an 81-year-old clown taught me about retiring.
OPINION: What an 81-year-old clown taught me about retiring. Matt Collins

OPINION: What an 81-year-old clown taught me about retiring

IN MY role as a journalist, I get to chat to many remarkable people.

But every so often, I'll meet someone who really leaves an impression.

I'm sure you can relate. They will say something or share an experience with you that stops your thoughts in their tracks.

And while my thoughts aren't all that sharp at the best of times, that's exactly what happened to me when I met Robert.

Robert is an 81-year-old circus clown.

That's right, 81.

That isn't a typo.

Believe me, I would know. I make lots of typos.

When I first met Robert, I was immediately taken by his passion and energy.

For someone in his ninth decade of life, this mature circus entertainer's youthfulness was addictive.

What I realised after my interaction with arguably the world's oldest clown was that retirement seems like a silly concept.

When you love what you do, and you're getting paid for it, why would you want to stop doing it?

The retirement age in Australia is 65-and-a-half or something.

If I'm being truthful, I don't know what the exact retirement age is.

And I'm going to assume my new mate, Robert doesn't either.

Those motivational and inspirational messages, while cheesy, are correct.

Age is just a number.

But as Robert proved to me, age is also subjective.

You get to decide what you do with your days.

No one controls you except for you.

I love what I do. Don't tell my editor, but I would do it for free.

So if and when I make retirement age, I only hope my 81-year-old clown friend is still somersaulting through my mind.