The 7:00 am Dash by Bill Storie
Remember those days when you were still working and had to set the alarm for 6 am, quick shower, get the kids ready for school (one who insisted on wearing a Batman costume today), make some coffee, drink half, try to take the rest to the car, spill it in the driveway, forget the keys to the car, not sure if you packed everything in your briefcase, kids screaming they’re late, one son sits on top of one daughter, she screams.
Then you finally manage to get the car out of the driveway only to be stuck in convoys of cars with screaming kids and spilt coffee all crawling along the road to school and work. Rush hour? Yeah right.
We did this five days a week, then Saturday we were back in the car, maybe a bit later of course, to take the screamers to soccer or gymnastics. Another day of driving in traffic.
Did we have any option? Nope.
We had financial obligations to fulfill so we simply had to get out there and get the job done. Sure, we complained and we were tired, but we did it.
Retirement means we don’t have to do any of that anymore. We can set the alarm for 9 am if we wish. We don’t have the screamers these days – they’ve left the nest, it’s quiet now. The idea that we need to sit in traffic jams when we are barely awake is such a distant memory. In fact, we’ve chosen to block it out and we can almost forget how bad it was, for so long.
It’s a nice feeling to choose to go to the mall after 10 in the morning, wander around for a while, meet friends for coffee (no need to be worried about spilling it these days), visit the food court, then toddle off back home for a nap long before the evening rush hour. Civilized.
We understand that at this age we don’t have the energy, or the inclination of course, so we can enjoy the retirement life at our own pace in the lifestyle we want. It’s a nice feeling.
While we miss some of the routines we had to follow for so many years we know that those days are over. Catching up with colleagues at the infamous water cooler on Monday morning was a ritual. It was something to look forward to but more probably because it gave us something to take our mind off the traffic we were stuck in getting to work.
How many old routines do we really miss? Perhaps not many.
But now in these older years we have new routines to follow. We are maybe doing things now that we watched our grandparents do. That’s wonderful. We have the freedom and the independence to do what we want. We are excited about the ability to decide what we want and when to do it. Years ago, retirement was a time to watch the grass grow and travel a little bit. Not so nowadays. We can surf the waves or surf the Net.
For those of you still in the workplace take heart. Forget those fears of getting old and retiring. Make sure your planning is up-to-date certainly, but look forward to a life of free choice and free time.
Have a nice week.
By Bill Storie