What are you going to do today?
This morning I asked my husband what he was going to do today and his reply, “I don’t know yet.” Spoken by a retired person and yet I am retired too but I always have an agenda. Today it was yoga class, meet a new friend for lunch, blog and attend a fundraiser in the evening to support the prison ministry, The Way Home. Knowing I had fun things planned for today meant I was going to have a good day. When I was teaching, a good day might be measured by how the children behaved, how well my lessons went and whether or not I had to stay late afterschool.
For me retirement has been challenging at times because I don’t look forward to too many days when there is nothing written on the calendar. At least I am not guilty anymore for feeling this way. Some of us need to stay busier than others—so now the challenge isn’t about staying busy but choosing to do what makes me happy.
I am recalling this commercial that used to run constantly. An old woman would look directly in the camera and say, “Today, I choose to be happy.” I can picture her wrinkled smiling face and white hair right now and I believed she knew the entire secret to a happy fulfilling life. But then I wonder if she thought her adult children should phone more often or if she didn’t sleep well the night before because her husband drank too much. She was a super senior who didn’t mind if the hairs on her neck were long enough to braid or if she couldn’t hear out of one ear. She chose to be happy damn it!
What I hear from all of my retired women friends is that for the first time in their lives they are thinking about their own needs not their children’s or spouse’s or siblings. The friend I met for lunch was going home to paint with water colors. When I got home today I placed the flower pots outside of the garage and saw these two tiny shoots of ivy which had survived the winter. So I did too. I don’t know what my future holds, but there is this feeling in my back and neck and shoulders that however many years I have left they should be spent wisely. I am lifting my head up like a daffodil and looking at positive rays of sunshine.