The Marking of Time: Retirement Style
By Erica and Karen
When we were growing up, time was marked more by the end of school in the summer and the beginning of school in the fall than by birthdays. Whether we were campers, stay-at-homers or travelers, the beginning of summer meant the end of weekly routines, homework, and getting dressed up for school. Fall, on the other end, meant reuniting with friends, school supplies, and new school clothes to accommodate our summer growth. Every year, even through college and summer jobs, it was the same. Clear demarcations between school and play, even if that play involved work. Summer vacation and summer jobs both had a beginning and an end.
When we were working full time, those lines of course became blurred. Crunch time could be any time, even weekends. And so we created our own demarcations. Time became marked by kid school schedules and accomplishments and well-planned family trips. Promotions and new jobs, victories and failures on our part and on the part of those we love, now became the events which marked our journey. We loved birthdays, but they were not events that made us pause.
The demarcations of time have not changed because we have retired. People kid around that when you are retired every day is Saturday. But there is no Saturday without the weekdays. When you stay involved with the rest of the world, you keep its time. We have work days and “vacation” days (though the ratio has changed a little). Weekdays, are days we work, or take class, or spend time on our non-profits. And we play. Weekends, we play a lot. On schedule.
This summer we took things easier, going to the office less. Entertaining. Barbecues with family. Kayaking and walking the beach. Returning to adventures in the sky. Traveling. Now that it’s almost fall, we are ready to get back in the saddle. Because fall is still the signal that it’s time to get back to getting stuff done. Making progress. Moving the ball. We enjoyed summer, but fall is always exciting. We feel great, happy with our lives now and ready for what the future holds.