Gone and done it at last – as of tomorrow at 5:00 pm, I will have been officially retired for 2 weeks.
In the end, it wasn’t as hard as I’d anticipated – the lure of a long, warm, busy summer full of rummage sales/projects/farmers markets, etc. coupled with what seemed to be a rapidly waning amount of actual fulfilling work made it simple, although not any less traumatic. I have to confess to being a bit bored already – I’m used to managing my time to squeeze things in; now, I have what seems to be a luxurious amount of time.
Philip Chard, a local columnist, wrote a great piece in this morning’s paper – yes, I STILL prefer a real newspaper with breakfast. Philip’s focus was on regrets, and how, as we get older, there are four basic things that people about to step out into the Great Mystery beyond this life say have caused them regret:
1. Not having lived their own lives
2. Not having invested more in important relationships
3. Not having honestly and respectfully expressed their feelings, and
4. Not choosing to be happy
Heavy stuff. I’m betting that all of us have been burdened with one of the four at some point in our lives. I know I have, although I won’t confess to which one. They are all arguable, of course; we feel pressured to live up to others’ expectations, we are so busy, we can’t say what we really think because it might hurt someone else’s feelings, it’s more important to make others happy than that we are happy. In the end, or perhaps I should say when you are getting closer to the end, all those excuses seem pretty lame. The bottom line is that this is the life you’ve got – you’d better make it count.
I know I plan to.