This is the first chance I’ve had to write for the blog this week. There has been too much to do. I think I’m busier now that I’m retired than when I was working. I’m not complaining about that. I was talking yesterday with a man who is also retired. He, too, is keeping busy. He has many interests that afford him activity, relaxation and, most important in his estimation, fun.
I wrote a piece about that years ago, based on a conversation I had with another retired gentleman at a lunch counter in a five and ten. (There were such things back then.) He too, was quite satisfied with his retired status and found many things to keep his interest. As the man said, he hadn’t had so much fun since they “shipped him off to kindergarten.” I don’t want to repeat that entire piece here. The part I want to make is the conclusion I drew from that conversation: the gentleman didn’t just find things to like in his retirement; he found things that were more to his liking, more that he could make his own. He was in contrast to many who work years at a job thinking only of their retirement and then, when they finally reach that stage in their lives, find that it doesn’t match their expectations. The man in the five and ten probably enjoyed every stage of his life. He simply used retirement to enjoy life more fully.
That man, I believe, probably was closer to living in present time than most people. I’ve often thought of animals living in present time. They seem to. Dogs and cats I’ve been privileged to know appeared to be interested in the present more than the past or the future. They thought about food when they were hungry, thought about going in the car-car when the opportunity presented itself, thought about welcoming someone when that someone arrived. People, on the other hand, being more intelligent and sophisticated, or so we suppose, have the ability to think about both the past and the future and place more importance on one or both of them than the present. That, we feel, is to our credit and our advantage. I wonder if that’s really true.