It’s still a little hard for me to comprehend, because I still feel hopelessly immature (say, about 28 years old), but retirement is right around the bend for me.
It happens in three weeks.
I’ve chosen to do it, maybe a little earlier than I should and earlier than I had planned, because I’m tired of the routine. Every weekday morning, the same thing: get up, shower, go to work, go to lunch, go back to work, go home, go to bed, etc. That’s five days a week, 48 weeks a year.
I’ve been doing some variation of that routine for the last 35 years, and now I’m ready for something else.
You know, shuffleboard, golf, bingo, 5 pm dinners, 8 pm bedtimes, waking up five times during the night, getting up at 6 am, and watching the horizon of my life draw closer and closer.
Kind of depressing when I put it that way, isn’t it?
Actually, I’m looking toward this with a sense of adventure. I’ve embarked on similar adventures in the past–taking a Greyhound bus from San Francisco to Washington DC to start college at a place I’d never seen before…hitchhiking through the Alps to southern France….boarding a train bound for who-knows-where in Mexico and later South America…driving off into the Sierra Nevada Mountains in a broken-down Chevy to start my broadcasting career at a 1000 watt radio station…and finally, leaving Atlanta, CNN and my marriage, accompanied only by my confused dog and a suitcase full of clothes, for a new career and life here in the UP.
A great life that’s fed my curiosity and frequently provided me with a sense of accomplishment and fun. It hasn’t been perfect, of course, but maybe retirement will help rectify that.
I’ll have the time and opportunity to do what needs to be done–spend more time with my family scattered across the country, do more writing in a disciplined manner, and truly appreciate what a remarkable gift we’ve all been given.
And you know what? After years of resisting it, I finally applied for my AARP card. What the hell, I might be able to get a discount on my 5 pm dinner at Denny’s.