Saturday, April 26, 2014
My expectations of retirement were unrealistic.
It's a nice night on the mountain top. There's a breeze blowing, it's warm, and very quiet. About the only sounds are those the creek is making just downslope. I don't mind the sound of running water.
I have been retired now for more than two years. When I left my company it was with no love lost between myself and the owner, and I never miss it. In fact, I'm sure if I had lasted any longer it would have killed me. The only time I think about it now is when I suddenly realize how grateful I am not to be in thrall to a greedy Septuagenarian whose only goal in life was to make money. That man was purely evil.
I did think, however, that once I didn't have to work anymore and didn't have a boss, life would be very tranquil and idyllic. I envisioned myself just doing the things I enjoy doing, every day a holiday and every meal a feast.
It hasn't actually turned out that way. First, problems will expand to fill the amount of time available for you to think about them. So, when I don't have to worry about work, I just spend more time worrying about health issues. For everything you put behind you, either an ongoing problem becomes more pressing or something new comes up.
Once I read that some people believe hell is a place where you go on doing the things you like to do, over and over, in eternal surfeit. Some of the pass times I used to enjoy have paled on me, or I'm not able to do them any more. I liked hiking, but it's not smart to go out in the woods by myself, and I confess that getting to the mailbox and back (about a two mile round trip) has become challenging because of the steepness of the return trip.
Shooting full powered battle rifles beats me up pretty good, even with a padded shooting jacket. I could shoot mouse guns, I own some, but it isn't anything like the pleasure of shooting a Mauser or an Enfield from the 100 yard line. I don't even particularly enjoy cleaning weapons anymore and I used to really like that, I'd set up at a table outside, put on the radio, and just experience the zen of weapons cleaning.
I get annoyed with myself because it often seems like I'm not satisfied unless I can think of something to be angry or worried about. Older men are supposed to have better sense than that. Everybody has things they have to deal with and I have fewer than most. I'm in good shape with all the things that really matter, like family and home. Maybe it takes more than two years to work into the retired life.