The strategy and rhythm of life are different between your working years and retirement.
Garry reminded me that he’s busy. By this he means he’s reading two books — one audio, the other print. He’s trying to keep up with his email and stuff on Serendipity and occasionally write a few things, too. Which made me think about busyness.
So I said to him, but also to myself: “How did we have enough time to work full-time and then some?”
Garry worked insanely long hours, often 14 to 16 hours. Just as he was finally about to get some sleep, the station would call him back in. This is why he so treasures sleep. For most of his life, he barely got any. On top of this, he worked strange hours, so his body was always on its own odd schedule.
He remembers better than I do about work, even though he has been retired longer than me. “It was the schedule we lived on. We got up, we went to work, we came home. Then we did it again.”
“I don’t think I could do it … for any amount of money,” I pointed out. “I went out on disability … and that was three major surgeries ago. I don’t think I’m healthier now than I was then.”
“That,” said my husband, “Is the other thing. It doesn’t matter how much money they offered me. I don’t think I could do it.”
That’s the definition of retirement — when not only do you no longer work, but you can’t do it, not for any amount of money. You’re finished. It’s hard to remember exactly what working full-time was like.
I know I did it. I got up, commuted, sometimes ridiculously long distances which is how I got hooked on audiobooks. Worked. Came home. Cooked. Cleaned. I even occasionally saw friends or family. Then, I got up and did it again. We both did. Together, we worked for about 100 years.
These days, I write a piece or two, read other blogs and maybe fix some pictures and listen to a book. Then, I make dinner and collapse into the sofa, I feel I’ve worked a full day.
It’s 12:15 am and I’m writing this. It’s the second post I’ve written today. I also processed about a dozen pictures. I made shrimp for dinner and Garry cleaned up. I don’t know about you, but for me, that’s a full day.
I am thoroughly and completely retired.