A few days ago a friend asked me what I was doing – now that I’m “unemployed” and all. He made it sound like I’d been fired from my job at the newspaper for plagiarism or something equally despicable.
I retorted that I’m RETIRED and doing all kinds of interesting things. “Every day is a new adventure,” I assured him. (It is, if your ambition for retirement is limited to trying out new varieties of Lean Cuisine or counting the Volkswagen bugs that pass the house on a Saturday afternoon.)
In fact, I’m part of a new segment of society known as latent rock stars. All I want to do is rock and read.
You might even call me a couch potato.
The conversation was extremely disturbing and served as a sort of wake-up call for someone who has fallen asleep at the steering wheel of life. As I drove home, I began assessing my venture into the not so gainful world of unemployment which just passed the one year mark and left much to be accomplished.
One year! How can that be? I walked away from my job on September 10, 2007 with high hopes and lofty plans.
First, I was going to Rome and Paris and live among the natives for a month or two. Of course, the month I retired, the stock market began its descension into a black hole and the only thing I could afford was a weekend in Memphis – and not the one in Egypt.
I was going to learn a new language – even sent some inquires to Rosetta Stone. I was going to take a course at the university since I’m now among the “seniors” who can attend tuition-free.
I was determined to work tirelessly in my garden and bag the title of Yard of the Month at least two or three times. (Boy, did I fail at that.)
I was going to work out six days a week and get back into those skinny jeans which fall out of my armoire practically every time I open the door. It’s like they have a life of their own, waiting to torment me whenever I open the door to get out my work-out clothes. Frankly, that’s why I quit working out. The memory of wearing those jeans and squeezing into them ever again was too painful.
I was going to visit sick friends and make savory loaves of zucchini cheese bread to take to all my neighbors. I even acquired a bread maker, but the instructions were confusing and I think my son took it to his house along with my food processor and juicer.
The only thing I have left is my Paula Deen toaster which makes Eggs Benedict by poaching the eggs and toasting the muffins at the same time. That’s amusing, but it’s no way to fill a morning.
I justified this year of social inertia with the excuse I needed a break to write my Daddy’s memoirs. He just completed almost 60 years of practicing medicine and has enough funny and poignant stories to fill three books. So far, the only thing I’ve completed is the preface. But hey, it’s really good.
Most of all, I just want to slow down and not move so fast. I want to make the morning last; go kickin’ down the cobble-stones, lookin’ for fun and feelin’ groovy. Hello lamp-post, what’s cha knowing? I’ve come to watch your flowers growin.’
Oops – there I go plagiarizing. But the lyrics to that old Art Garfunkel song, make me feel a little better about doing nothing special while watching the weeds grow unchallenged in my garden.