I think our culture has a very dangerous mindset regarding work, rest and relaxation. In my opinion, engaging in productive, life affirming, purpose-fulfilling work is one of the reasons we are even here (on Earth I mean). Positive Psychology research indicates that when we are doing the work we are meant to do we get ‘in flow’ and are at our happiest. And yet somehow we, as a society, have convinced ourselves that true happiness comes from doing…nothing! We think that if we could just be on vacation all the time we’d be truly fulfilled. Rest is very important, don’t get me wrong. We need to rest on a weekly basis in order to continue to take joy in our work, but we certainly were never meant to rest ALL the time! And think how ludicrous it is to spend our whole lives learning skills, gaining wisdom, gaining financial freedom and then think we should hit the ‘off’ button and just stop contributing and ‘rest’ for the rest of our lives (i.e. ‘retirement’)! No wonder old people get old! Anyone who is prevented, by themselves or others, by engaging in useful work will of course get stressed, depressed and exhibit signs of aging. The irony is that we as a culture PURSUE sloth, we chase it all our lives and then once we catch it, it kills us. I have never had a protagonist who is at the age of ‘retirement’ but as I approach that weird time of life called middle age (I call it 1/3 age because I plan on living a very long time) the whole concept of retirement is actually becoming relevant to me and one thing’s for sure, I don’t plan on ‘retiring’ from much other than getting paid for jobs that aren’t my calling. I’m pretty sure there’s a book in there somewhere, too. After all, the older I get, the older my protagonists seem to get. Usually my protagonists are three to five years younger than I was at the time of writing (and I always think they are young).