I got to thinking about what I liked most about retirement. The first thing that came to mind is that I don’t have to set an alarm clock. Oh, I still get up at the crack of dawn, even though I’m always the last one to bed.
It seems my brain is so afraid it’ll miss something important if it sleeps any longer. My mother said I’ve been like that since birth. Guess there’s no point in changing now.
But even more than the alarm clock, it’s the idea that I can move at my own pace – most of the time. Trust me, the speed limit has been reduced, but I’m still moving. I’m still on the road. As a result of the new speed limit the schedule has become a little less demanding or reliable. I guess you could say that instead of having bus stops predetermined and imposed on me, I get to choose if and when I stop, and for how long.
I’ve heard a lot retirees comment that they don’t know how they ever had time to work. It’s true, it’s true it is so true! But what is scheduled for me is what I scheduled. If I have to go to a meeting, it’s my choice, not some boss’s choice. If I have an obligation, it’s one I scheduled, as opposed to one that everyone in the office is expected to attend.
So, I get to choose my own bus stops. They may come with an obligation of time, but it’s an obligation of my choosing. And if I decide I want to stop the bus and picnic along the way, it’s my choice, although I may have to be careful where I park the bus.
Those of us driving our own routes and stops can sometimes get a little careless about other drivers. I guess that’s called ‘insensitive’ and ‘self-centered’ but I’m sure that doesn’t apply to anyone I know, including the person in my driver’s seat.
And then there’s that rear-view mirror thingy. Some of us get so hung up looking in the rear-view mirror that we forget to watch the road. That can be dangerous, you know. Yes, we need to check the rear-view mirror from time to time, but remember to watch the road, too. There’s a lot of great stuff still ahead of us. Look at it. Savor the view.
Oh, I know, the windshield is getting bug-splattered. Those are the personal battles we fought and won; and sometimes they make it a little more difficult to see through the window.
As the final curve gets a little closer, I’m kind of glad the windshield isn’t quite so clean and clear after all. It makes it difficult to see just how far it is to that final curve.
But wait. Maybe – just maybe – it’s not the final curve at all. Maybe there is something really new and exciting around that corner.
Like writing a column.
One just never knows because after all, no one has ever driven the road of one’s life before.
Maybe I should stop for a picnic today.
Adrienne Jacoby is a 40-plus-year resident of Shasta County and native-born Californian. She was a teacher of vocal music in the Enterprise Schools for 27 years and has been retired for 11 years.
A musician all her life, she was married to the late Bill Jacoby with whom she formed a locally well -known musical group who prided themselves in playing for weddings, wakes, riots, bar mitzvas and super market openings. And, oh yes . . . she has two children, J’Anna and Jayson.
A News Cafe, founded in Shasta County by Redding, CA journalist Doni Chamberlain, is the place for people craving local Northern California news, commentary, food, arts and entertainment. Views and opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of anewscafe.com.