White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

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

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Retirement Musings

So, seeing the pink flamingo hiding discreetly in the shadows above reminded me of Florida.  And Florida reminded me of retirees and retirement.  And that reminded me that I haven't written about the retirement subject in quite some time.

So, here are a few more thoughts..........

Retirement is not a normal human state. Every fiber of my being says: get a job, go to work, be productive, be somebody, get ahead, produce. Is that the survival instinct or the result of a lifetime of conditioning? Whichever it is, it's the script by which I lived my life - it's difficult to change and "be retired." After all, being retired is just a step away from being dead.

For me one of the hardest things about retirement is reconciling the loss of value and prestige that working in the air traffic control field offered me. I enjoyed doing important and useful work.

On the other hand, I am finding that retirement is a great opportunity to exercise the freedom to reinvent myself -  to try new or different things - to reinvent my daily life. I worked for "the man" for thirty years - so much of my life was controlled by that external job responsibility. My daily life revolved around my work schedule and calendar.

Sometimes now though, I face a new day with nothing on my calendar - an open agenda - a blank slate.  At first, that was somewhat terrifying, now it is a delight.  To have the freedom to just make up something (or nothing) to do - like I did as a kid growing up in the 1950's.  Leave the house early and be home by dark.  What a treat! I recognize that I am a lucky man that I can do that - many people don't get to enjoy the reward of retirement.

Nowadays, I don't provide the same value to the workplace that I once did.  So I must figure out how to provide some other value to the world.  I have chosen to pursue a creative endeavor by publishing this blog. I create images, and text, and weave them together in such a way as to tell a very brief story when I publish the post. Interested people all over the world get to learn a little bit about the places I visit and the things I do or see. Sometimes I create "art" and sometimes I relay "just the facts." It has been and still remains a challenge to go from a type-A occupation to the persona of a creative type.

I realize that the end of my life is nearer than the beginning.  The time to dilly-dally is over.  I must pursue any unfulfilled dreams without delay.  I want to take advantage of the opportunities I encounter. I want to honor the gift of life that I am so lucky to enjoy.  With so much horror in the world, I attempt to shine one small ray of hope and light through this blog.

Daily, I want to be kind; to appreciate life in the moment; to eat healthful vegan foods; to be creative; to exercise; to live up to my commitments; to treat all with dignity and respect; to not wait for life to unfold, but rather to unfold it; to not be annoyed at minor things; to enjoy the gift of life; and to eat lots of dark chocolate. Many times, I am successful - especially eating chocolate.