Relativity (n): Einstein’s law that had something to do with time, the equation of which I would have to look up on Wikipedia, but I’m too busy to bother doing and I could not interpret it anyway
We have recently retired.
As we approached this milestone of life, we of course informed family, friends, colleagues and client’s. The news of this seemed of relevance to those parties, especially as this would effect some of their lives, such as the family members whom we would be traveling to see for more than a few days, and our clients whom we would cease seeing beyond that last day of work.
A question that many folks asked was, ”What will you do (with all those hours you will not be working) when you retire?”
Beyond the face value question of, ”What activities will you substitute for work”, I heard their equivocation of, ”What would I (i.e. they) do with their time if they stopped working?”
I had a ready answer, that we would spend the next couple of months visiting with family in various regions of the country, as we had tickets to fly to the west coast the day after we signed off from our last pay period. But, that just kicked the can down the road to the summer months.
As a few days have passed, I do not feel much different from being on an extended vacation with family. I doubt that I will sense the reality of being retired until we are home from our travels. I will not be thinking on the flight home, ”I wonder which client’s I will be seeing…”, ”I wonder whether I have someone scheduled at 8:30 Monday…”
I suspect that those first days home, when we do not need to set the alarm, and we can get up and have our cups of coffee and sort through the mail at a leisurely pace, and eat breakfast when we get hungry… then I will start to ”feel” retired.
But, I have already started to feel the sense of relativity of time. I start with the thought, ”What day of the week it is”. I look at the newspaper (thankfully, the family whom we initially visited actually receive a physical newspaper folded neatly with a rubber band around it) to check the date and day.
But, I am finding a different time of retirement relativity. Rather than sequential days, ”Monday, Tuesday…” or dates ”23, 24, 25…”, I am finding the activity of the day becomes a referent point, ”Hiking, big band concert, baseball game, dinner with…”
Ironically, I think that I may need to consult a calendar more often, not for the day or date, but the activity of the day (no, this is not a retired occupational therapist talking!)