Throughout my life, I never thought much about what retirement would look like ?It’s not that I didn’t imagine that my working life would taper off and end one day, but rather specifically, what form that would take just never presented itself clearly to me. ?My life has been so peripatetic and unsettled that the idea of a permanent rocking chair on a permanent porch just didn’t fit into my consciousness. ?In light of that, here are a few thoughts on the state of things right now.

My actual retirement is a year old and I find that I still work on adjusting to it or rather I am still working on adjusting the status of retirement to my life. ?This subtile distinction came to me soon upon entering into retirement. ?It occurred to me that all the discussion about retirement was aimed at me fitting into that situation. ?You’re retired now – this is your new job and you have to go out and do it, ?and this is what that means: Travel, teach, (what for goodness sake?) volunteer, take classes create a hobby – and the list continues. ?I felt no desire to get into any of these activities. They all sound like they could be fun and even fulfilling for the right person at the right time, but none of them held a spark of interest for me – ?now.
All those suggestions required that I go out into the world and relate to people. Now, I’ve spent my life relating to people doing whatever I did for work. ?For the present, at least, I prefer a more private experience, not excluding others, but not jumping into some public situation dealing with people. This might change but now I have some personal work to do. ?

The first thing I wanted to do was master the skill of un-work. Not that anything I do every day is not technically work, it is. ?Un-work to me is working for me and not for anyone else accomplishing their goals. ?By actual count, there are 17,324 jobs waiting their turn right here on this little farmette. ?There is no unemployment here. There is a little supervision but I circumvent that most of the time.

The second thing I wanted to do was to give myself permission to take the time to meditate, to think, read and write. ?This is my real job. ?It’s the job that if it goes undone I feel bad. ?I understand that nobody cares about that but me, but that is hot the point of it. It’s what I want to do. ?That’s all the justification I need. ?I could live with never cutting another blade of grass but I’d be in trouble if I could not think, read and write.

The third thing I wanted to do was make a real effort at physical fitness. ?In my observations of the aging process, physical fitness is the one thing that is easiest to let go. ?Hey I am retired, I don’t have to get physical anymore. ?Hand me down my walking cane and rocking chair! ?Well, it might come to that but as long as I can move I am going to move. ?

So there it is: Work, Mind and Body. ?Where’s the soul you ask? My friend, if the soul can’t be found in Work, Mind and Body I’ll just have to pass on it this go round. ??

Retirement isn’t perfect yet. ?I won’t be, I suspect. ?But so far so good. ?I guess that is really as good as it gets. This is the part where every moment counts because they are my moments. ?But it is important to remember – that does not mean to hurry up. Actually – – there is soul in that.

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