Thursday Tidbits

Posted on September 16, 2021 under Thursday Tidbits with 2 comments

One ringy dingy


“Retirement for me was the enemy because I had so much to offer.”

Harriet Cohen – 88-Year-old divorce lawyer

Very often I start my posts with a few lines from a song, but I must admit, that peering at my computer screen early yesterday morning, I couldn’t quite find the right song to go with the above quote. I went walking with a friend Tuesday evening and she was asking me about the subtle pressures of writing something new and fresh twice a week as I have been doing now for 10 years without a pause. I told her that I didn’t have a clue what today’s post would be about. When in doubt, re-till old soil.

After 1,254 posts, it is hardly surprising that there is some repetition in the themes. Well, guess what? I am 70 and I can damn well repeat myself as often as I feel like it. I do it in person so why not in print! Actually, repeating oneself is a badge of honor, and part of being a senior citizen.

A good friend sent me the story about Harriet Cohen. It is from The Wisdom Corner (Oprah Winfrey). Harriet is an amazing woman by all accounts, still living life with the throttle wide open. When asked by the interviewer if she was wise, here is what she had to say: “What I’ve learned about myself is that I was very blessed. With enormously good education, very good health, a very good attitude, and the ability to absorb and to internalize everything that I learn so that when it came time to start the third life of Harriet Cohen, not at age 41, but at age 88, I was ready for it.”

I thought I was ready for retirement 5 years ago. Now I am rethinking the whole concept of retirement. The theoretical age for retirement is 65 but I think this notion is getting an overhaul. At one point in time retirement age was tied to life expectancy. Because we are living longer, and in many cases healthier, why would we want to stop using all the knowledge and skills accumulated over a lifetime?

I have to say that I am loving my new, reinvented life as an all- purpose person in my school. There’s that word again: purpose. It just seems to me that the people who have a purpose in life are generally healthier and happier. I am learning new things every day. This week, our principal and vice-principal are away all week at meetings and our head maintenance man is down south for the week. Another teacher and I were handed the reins.

There’s never a lack of surprises and this week we were dealing with a water issue. We had to do a lot of problem solving. I have to admit that I was so busy that I didn’t have much time to think about my aching joints. I also met some new people who were pretty amazing – very smart and talented in their fields including an environmental engineer who originally hails from Nigeria.

I am not suggesting that everyone should spring off the couch and start some brand new adventure. Septuagenarians never spring off the couch. We can’t. It’s more like a slow roll. Many of you are exhausted from a lifetime of toil and want to spend your retirement years taking it easy. Nothing wrong with that.

Like Harriet Cohen, I feel very fortunate. I have a reasonably good education, good health, good energy and curiosity.

The most important thing I have is friends in abundance.

I am coming to the conclusion that retirement is my enemy too.

One of these days I’ll hit the snooze button but while I can, it’s full steam ahead.

Have a great weekend.

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