White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Saturday, October 19, 2013

A Few More Thoughts About Retirement

I sat a few feet away from this gull to see how long it would take before he flew away.  It was quite a while. But I had a while to wait.

So, here are a few more ramblings in my occasional posts about retirement.

1. Watching the gull take wing, leaving the bonds of earth - it must have been magical to early humans. I remember from early school days that the study of flight was quite intriguing to Leonardo daVinci. I recall that his notes and dreams portrayed flight themes. It is nice to have time to sit and watch, to not feel hurried all the time - to indulge a whim and not be always "scheduled"  - to imagine flying.

2. I don't want to do as much stuff as I used to do. Under-scheduling is better than over-scheduling. Does that mean I'm lazy, or old, or retired, or smart, or all of the above? I'm not interesting in doing, seeing, having, being everything. I'd rather lightly step into the remaining years rather than race panting and out of breath trying to do it all. Two very different approaches to living.

3. I can drive or walk to a nearby market and procure fresh and/or packaged foods all year around with rarely an absence or shortage. Even fresh veggies in the middle of winter.What a remarkable feat that is in the world and one enjoyed by few.  But at what cost to the planet? Many of the humans around the world have no electricity, no safe and consistent water supply, nor a safe and secure consistent food supply.  The "New World" has afforded us extraordinary bounty.

4. The cell phone is a two-edged sword. It's great for an emergency but, I 'm not so keen on the idea that anyone can interrupt me at any time they choose. Why is that a good thing? My generation spent 50 years of ours lives unencumbered with forced external intrusion.  Parents used to shoo kids out of the house to play until the next mealtime. Why should someone on a phone have the right to interrupt and take precedence over someone who is there in person? That seems to be who we have become as a culture.

5. Life has demarcation points, both positive and negative - before and after first love, before and after marriage, before and after birth of child, before and after death of a parent, before and after heart attack, before and after cancer, before and after......  Retirement is a also clear demarcation point.  To go from having to work to bring in  money versus not having to work to bring in money.

6. Sometimes, retirement just feels like I am still on a really long vacation - that quasi mental state when you relax but not quite completely without  fleeting thoughts of work.  But work has changed.  Now, instead of thinking about air traffic control, my thoughts are of my new "work" - the somewhat artistic pursuit of publishing a blog almost daily - ideas, thoughts, photos, text, messages, themes, the task ahead. Work is life - work is part of our human condition as long as we can physically and/or mentally do so and still draw breath.

7. I have a growing recognition that there is an end - deferring dreams until later is not a good idea.  There may not be a later.

8. I think I'll go for a walk and ponder - or maybe just wander aimlessly and enjoy being alive.

Sometimes, just sitting in the yard with a cup of something and saying "hello" to passersby is hard to improve upon. (This isn't me, just another retiree staying at a Bed and Breakfast in downtown Plymouth).

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