Retirement-Conversation with Mike

My life in segments

My life in segments

A friend of mine responded to an email I wrote him a while ago in which I told him I was retiring from teaching.

Dear Johnny,
Most of my friends are retired. And, I think I am the oldest of them all. Last night, Judy and I were over at a friend’s house and saw many people we had not seen for a year. The question… “Mike when are you going to retire? Are you retired yet?” As if the act itself was something.. an event. perhaps like getting married. I find my self becoming almost argumentative. “Like why should I?” Is the questioner, a retired person, wanting not to be alone in their new status? Is it the first step in becoming an old person? Is it part of that inevitable path we all take? Up on the mountain or into the desert or maybe the ice flow? It could be as simple as not wanting to face the ever accumulating list of retirement activities that I have put off for that “time”. hoping instead to flame out and leave my pile of junk and mementos for someone else to deal with. Take care, there are not that many thinkers around

I am finished with the university and have no desire to teach anywhere else. I just do not have the passion to make the commute, fight the crowds and found myself less and less inclined to read student papers, often over 100 in a weekend. Not sure what is next, right now our house needs a lot of maintenance getting ready for winter. The grounds got a bit shabby and a lot of junk has accumulated over these past years when we were absent or renting the place so it will take me some time to get it squared away.

Handy in retirement?

Handy in retirement?

I sometimes work on the garden and do some occasional “handy man” stuff, I spend a bit more time on the computer, I try to keep Ayşe’s computer from freezing (an ongoing problem, no fault of hers), I read a lot more and usually take a nap in the early afternoon. Not very exciting but a rather satisfying life for the moment.

Later, in the winter when it rains and keeps us inside close to the fire, I plan to go through all my old photos. I have three boxes of them and it is time that I put them into proper time and place. Someone else might want to see them someday and will wonder who are all these old, dead people?

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