This post first ran over 4 years ago. As I re-read it, the message seemed to be worth repeating, and to fit with several recent posts I have written about schedules, freestyling during retirement and making sure I don't let opportunities pass me by. Even though some of the descriptions are of the house we sold 6 months ago, the message remains the same: a satisfying journey is my responsibility.
My schedule is not as busy as it was when I was running my radio consulting business. I no longer travel half of each month. I don't have to worry about making payroll, government forms, marketing, or keeping clients happy.
But, retirement is not a walk in the park. And, that is part of my concern. It should be. Literally. I live about 1/2 mile from a very nice park complete with sports fields, picnic tables, and a large play area for kids. A full walking circuit from my house, around the park and back is exactly 2 miles. Without pushing it that is about 35 minutes. There is no earthly reason why my wife and I shouldn't walk around the park, or have a picnic dinner, or simply sit and watch the kids at play on a regular basis. Unfortunately, it is rare event in our lives.
There is one part of my office that holds the equipment for my hobby, ham radio. There are eight different radios and various amplifier or power supplies, microphones, and enough wires and cables to open a Radio Shack. The roof has several different antennas sticking up above the roof so I can hear and transmit to places all around the world. Amazingly, last week was the first time in almost a year that I actually used a few of the radios to make contact with fellow radio operators in Minnesota and Washington state. Thousands of dollars of equipment have been gathering dust for 11 months.
So, what's the problem? I certainly have the time. While my schedule is pretty full with blogging, volunteer work, exercising at the gym, meetings at church, and the normal work required to maintain a house and family, it is rather flexible. I can fit in something that is interesting or enjoyable if I so choose.
The problem is I don't take the time. I think of something interesting or pleasant to do, but let excuses at the last minute derail the idea. I keep putting it off until the moment is gone.
|Phoenix Art Museum outdoor cafe|
At the last moment, Betty and I decided to leave early so we could enjoy lunch at the museum's restaurant. It was a lovely, breezy day...perfect for having a spur-of-the-moment meal on the outside patio before the movie began. Lunch, a walk around the neighborhood, the movie, and then a brief look at the latest exhibit at the museum made for an absolutely delightful 4 hours.
As we were driving home, the thought struck me that my retirement should be filled with many more moments like this. At a certain age you realize putting off something until later may mean you have missed an opportunity that may not come around again.
But, being retired and relatively free to do what I want when I want, removes all plausible excuses. Taking the time to live and not just exist should be our goal.