Most of the time I don’t think about retirement because it’s still several years away for me, and hopefully I’ll have plenty of time to think about it when I get to it—more time than I have now, anyway. A few years ago a retired guy wanted me to work on a project with him which I agreed to do but when I didn’t have at least a couple of hours a day every day to spend on it he told me I wasn’t managing my time well. I replied that, unlike him, I already had forty hours a week committed to work and he said he didn’t have time to listen to excuses. So that was the end of that.
This weekend, though, I ran into a friend from work who retired in 2019—she really timed it perfectly. We’ve seen each other a few times since then, but not as much as we saw each other when she was still working. She was in a different building and I’d see her at least once every couple of weeks, usually because I was cutting through her building on my way to somewhere else. I asked her what she’d been doing and she started listing off volunteer projects, doing a little consulting, she’d formerly done some teaching and she had a couple of students who were visiting Nashville so she’d been cleaning her house and scraping ice off the sidewalk because they were going to come and see her–you can tell she’s not shy and not retiring–and after that she was planning to start getting her garden beds ready for the spring planting.
“So what have you been up to?” she asked.
Slightly slack-jawed I said, “Well, I got out of bed this morning and made some perfect oatmeal in the microwave, so, yeah, I’ve got that going for me.”
It wasn’t that bad, but it was still funny to me that it sounded like a full day of her retired life was more involved than some of my days working, which is great and made me think about how when I do finally get to retirement I hope I’ll find as many ways to fill up my time. Speaking of time and retirement, though, also reminded me of a joke by the late, great Dave Allen:
You wake to the clock, you go to work to the clock, you clock-in to the clock, you clock out to the clock, you come home to the clock, you eat to the clock, you drink to the clock, you go to bed to the clock, you get up to the clock, you go back to work to the clock.You do that for forty years of your life and you retire — what do they fucking give you? A clock!