Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Good Life

Old friends rolled into town the other night and took us out for dinner. I first met Ray and Diane more than thirty-five years ago when I was a rookie teacher. We all taught in the same geography department. Ray retired before I, but Diane keeps on teaching. She looks at me in stupefaction wondering what I could possibly find to do with myself now that I don't have to punch a clock, and I gaze back with a similar look on my countenance — stupefaction. I wonder how anyone could prefer working to pursuing one's interests at one's leisure.

Well, we're all different. Some people don't exactly seem to have a plethora of interests, but a lot of things interest me. Although I am mediocre in most pursuits that I put my hand to, I, nevertheless, enjoy the exploration. For the most part, these were not things that I planned to do when I first retired. Oh, I did have some ideas. Some I pursued; some I have yet to take up; some I may never follow up on because interests and goals do tend to alter over time. The point is that although I may not know what they are yet there are many, many interesting things awaiting me out there.

I continue to wonder why Diane cannot fathom what she will ever do with her time when she does hang 'em up because I can't seem to find the time to do everything that I'd like to do. I can testify that retirement has been a wonderful experience for me. In many ways, these are the best days of life, the most appreciated perhaps, which may be the same thing.


mreddie said...

I have heard several say that they didn't know what they would do when retired. I can't relate because now I do exactly what I want (and what the Spice wants) and on occasion that is absolutely nothing. :) ec

Gina said...

My grandparents retired at exactly 55, and Hubba-hubba and I were discussin that at 85 and almost 90, they have been retired almost as long as they worked!

Of course, they would never have been able to retire that early without the excellent benefits that their union jobs gave them, which are pretty non-existent now.

Cathy said...

Yes, so many would-be retirees worry about being bored. I don't understand the concept of boredom. 'Ennui' - yes. 'Boredom' - no :0)

Ginnie said...

I think the clue to happiness in retirement is doing things that we've never done before. I agree with you, AC, that it's the best time of my life...so far!

Thailand Gal said...

The best thing about retirement is the ownership of my own time. It makes no difference what I do with it by anyone else's standard. I get to choose. And that's what counts. :)

I was absolutely inconsolably miserable in work places ~ so it is almost like being a whole new person now.

I like it this way :)



Dale said...

I think it's important to build a Life for yourself beyond work. That way, when you retire, you'll have interests and hobbies and a natural curiosity about things. Too many men work until 65 because they're frightened of retirement and then die soon after.

Me? I can't wait to retire!


Bonita said...

Whatever our circumstances are, I hope everyone will have vitality and good health when they age. I hope there will always be someone to love, things to consume one's attention in a positive way, and time to appreciate everything along the way.

Laurie said...

My dad retired at 62 and until his health started to fail, he enjoyed it very much. I think that I will enjoy retirement as long as I can spend at least part of my time taking photos.

PBS said...

My Mom retired at 60, so has been retired for 20 years! The railroad gave her a buy-off and then a good pension. I, on the other hand, will be working until I'm 70! But not voluntarily--I'd love to be able to retire.