The Dichotomy of Retirement

Four months into retirement.  Stay busy so you don’t succumb to boredom leading to depression.  Never has the freedom from the obligations of the working world tasted so sweet.  So why, this morning, did I resent having to get dressed to go to a lecture that we had been anticipating since discovering the Academy for Learning in Retirement a few months ago???  I’ve also noticed the lack of enthusiasm for attending the basketball games for which we have season tickets.  Because these are obligations???????  Because some element of choice has been surrendered??????  Freedom………….could it be that as absolute power corrupts absolutely that unfettered daily choices eventually enslaves one??????

Speaking of freedom, if you chance upon a book by the same name authored by Jonathan Franzen, passing it up would be a good choice.  This novel has mixed reviews, some critics singing its praises, others finding it a waste—-I agree with the latter.  One review I read, I think on the Atlantic‘s website, mentioned that if you didn’t care about the characters after about 40 pages don’t bother.  I tried to care for around 117 pages then quit.

About the academy mentioned above—the class is Mathematics.  There are four lectures; today’s was on symmetry using drawings by M C Escher for illustrative purposes.  The remaining three will be on numbers highlighting Fermat’s last theorem and the work of Sophie Germain;  encryption and security; and, lastly, topology.  Might need to break out James Gleick’s Chaos and find some calculus review, I guess….

3 thoughts on “The Dichotomy of Retirement

  1. i'll exercise my freedom to pass on lectures that involve math. i will, however, count a rhumba beat, chachacha, and mambo. i will learn about investing (as long as i don't have to go anyplace to learn) and i'll discuss books that i am reading. that's my new passion………..reading for pleasure. i agree………it's a freedom thing and i think the resisitence to having to go anyplace dwindles as time passes. you'll be sor boring that you'll bore yourself. it will pass. i'm right there in the same developmental stage you are. i've talked to other retirees, that's how i know. gonna go watch WHAT NOT TO WEAR that i taped last week…….don't want to be a slave to network scheduling. D T

  2. Nice article. Glad you liked the lecture. fred PS Most of the Civil Engineers I worked with at MDOT never really used Calculus in Most instances. This bunch incl MIT and Ivy leaguers. F P

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