For about a year now, Papa has been contemplating retiring. Alot of people are convinced that not working and having their entire day free to do whatever is the perfect life. But is it?
Papa has now made some comments about possibly being lonely after retirement not having the interaction he does at work with alot of different people every day. I can see his point. Being male, he does not have the constant interaction with his friends like most women do. He doesn't read, doesn't care for handywork around the house, no gardening aspirations, he enjoys watching movies and playing baseball in the summer months but otherwise no real hobbies. Playing baseball in the summer and watching movies all winter? Would that be it?
Sure we all get tired going to work day after day and we so look forward to our weekends, vacations, and any other time off work but I've noticed on our two week end of the year holiday break, I do start to get a little bored. Maybe it's because I'm usually also running out of money and need to get back to work and collecting those paychecks to continue my life as I've grown accustomed to it. But really, how much shopping can one do?
I also notice that when Papa and I spend a considerable amount of "quality" time together, we both start getting a little testy with each other. We sometimes need more interaction with others and less with each other and going to work usually satisfies this.
As I've been thinking about whether I would be happy not working, I discovered something in another little daily routine I have. Every morning, when I get up, as I'm trying to pry open my eyes and get all my parts working as they should, having breakfast, and taking my assortment of medications (pain and allergy) and vitamins for the day, I watch Andy Griffith. There are two episodes on every morning 5:00 and 5:30 a.m, Monday-Friday. I usually only catch the 5:30 episode and then watch just a few minutes of news before I'm finally awake and my body is functioning and I can then start getting ready for work.
I have discovered watching 30 minutes a day of the exploits of the Mayberry residents really improves my overall mood. I not only want to live in Mayberry but I want to hang out with Aunt Bea sometime. (In reality my time for that has passed as she has also.) Such a positive person she is and nothing ruffles her feathers and she's got a kickin' car as well. Papa explained to me what it was but it's a convertible and I love those.
OK, you are saying now, she has gone off on another tangent. No I've not, I'm setting the stage.
Recently, there was an episode of Andy Griffith where Howard Spray (he's some sort of accountant, I believe), had met someone who didn't work and lived a dream life....Howard believed. So Howard thought about it and decided he wanted this type of care-free life also. He sold his business, packed his bags, told everyone in Mayberry goodbye, and went to live in a hut on a tropical island.
No cares in the world right? Well, after a day or so, he got extremely bored. Nothing to do and no one to talk to. He went on to meet some other island inhabitants who had been on the island for years but had started off like him and they had gotten so they didn't even care about their looks any longer...your typical hermit-types; long, tangled hair and beards, and glazed eyes from just not doing anything or caring about doing anything.
The episode wrapped up with Howard having a dream (nightmare) that he turned into one of these island inhabitants and when he woke up, he packed his bags, and headed back to his old life in Mayberry.
The moral of the story was that Howard found out he was actually happy with his life back in Mayberry but it took a total change in lifestyle to make him realize this.
I think I've mentioned before about a co-worker of mine who retired and moved to the island of Roatan. I read their daily blog and it is a pretty exciting existence. BUT I saw a picture his wife had taken of him the other day and immediately thought of Howard Spray.
I must agree that this is a gorgeous picture but it seems so lonely to me at the same time. Don and Jeanette love their life on Roatan but.....they kept their house in St. Louis. They did not completely cut ties to start over. Who knows maybe they will sell it eventually but they have a safety net to their old life for now. (Ok, now I've gone off on the tangent!!)
So back to Papa and retiring (or retiring for any of the rest of us), maybe it's not the ideal existence for him or many of us, at this time, if there are doubts. Maybe we all just need a change. It seems so many people retire and then go back to work doing something else, but they go back to work. But that's for each of us to decide. For now I'll just sit back and keep dreaming of the perfect life in Mayberry as I sit at my desk at my job doing what I do everyday.