The Glory Days
Life is momentum. People are born and people die. Elections come and go. Wars break out and peace returns. Phases in our lives keep unfolding, too, one after the other. There is no end, no rest short of death.
I thought that retiring from my university would drop me onto a plateau of calm, a momentary lull in the constant march of … life. I’m still waiting.
I used to think that when people complained that they were busier in retirement than before, they were really lying to cover up their boredom, or they were staying occupied to keep from going crazy. Yet here I am in the same position, learning three months into retirement that the retired life can be pretty intense and tons of fun. You just have to see those grey-haired men zooming around in their expensive sports cars to see what I mean.
The contrast between the energy of my former working life and my current life is palpable. Admittedly, I often forget what day of the week it is because the days tend to blur, but I nonetheless awake each day full of excitement and plans, some of which I don’t have time to complete.
Why is that the case with so many newly retired people? Other than the fact that people are in better health later in life, I believe that retirement rejuvenation is the energy unleashed in jaded souls that had begun to feel emotionally drained/bored/unchallenged by their work, energy that now spurts out to create new lives and surroundings. Granted that there are those who don’t enjoy being retired, but I’ve found few of those recently.
Most of my retired friends are so busy that we have to make appointments to get together. Their hours are full of traveling and gardening and starting some new project. And they occasionally have time to babysit. The gym is full of retired people in the mornings, I’ve discovered. The Home Depot afternoon classes in wall-papering are overflowing. Best of all, for those in the US, most college classes are open to us free of charge – and seniors are rushing to fill those seats.
In my case, in between going to the gym, having outings with friends and some beach visiting, I’ve been renovating my home from top to bottom after its thirty years of wear and tear. My days are filled with choosing paint, tile and granite color combinations, and supervising the work as it goes along. Just when one project ends, another seems to begin.
My next plan is to get back to the work of writing, but that seems to keep fading into the future. I’m having way too much fun enjoying the new momentum.