We were reading the morning Post on our porch one Tuesday when we saw our neighbors heading off to work. “Don’t work too hard,” she said. “Have a good Thursday,” he teased. He had a point. Retirement is rather like perpetual summer camp except you can sleep in -- if you have the time. The day of the week becomes almost moot.
“What do you do now that you’re retired?”
I take ballet three times a week. I quilt. I sew a bit of costuming.
“What does Steve do?”
He golfs. He takes classes at George Mason’s Lifetime Learning Institute. He goes to his men’s group and reads books for his men’s book club. He golfs. (Yes, I said it twice on purpose; he loves golf the way I love dance.)
We have season’s tickets to the Washington Ballet. We go to movies DURING THE DAY! We visit our children and Perfect Grandchildren. We travel. (Turkey’s coming up and then French Polynesia. Heh)
My theory is that it takes a year to settle into retirement and create the life you find rewarding. Many people seem trepidatious about retirement. Although they could retire comfortably, they continue to work because they think they have to have it all mapped out in advance. Never mind that they don’t do that with any other part of their lives. They can’t imagine how they'll fill the time. For starters, errands could take up every second of the day.
One by one you add activities and crafts and friends. Wine plays a substantial role in our retirement. We switch off cooking, or we eat eggs, or we order out.
Seriously, to the question, “What do you do now that you’re retired?” there is only one answer: “Whatever I darn well please.”
Except, of course, when the Perfect Grandchildren call. Then we run like puppies hearing a dinner bell.