Lessons of Retirement

So it’s been about a year and a half since I pulled the plug, or should that be cut the umbilical cord, with participating as a productive member of society to bask in the glow of retirement.  So…….

I imagine there are some lessons I’ve gleaned from my past 18 months.

The primary emotion I experience is joy coupled with  amusement.  Every time I read on Facebook about my daughter catching a train or plane at around 5:00AM, great peals of laughter resound about my study.  Sorry, but that emotion pretty much extends to my attitude aboout all the worker bees.

It’s well worth the extra dollars for a Sam’s Club Advantage Plus membership just to be able to go there before the general public.  The lines are shorter and the atmosphere is generally less hectic.

Tasks that are required don’t need to be performed immediately.  Manana doesn’t mean “tomorrow”; it means “not today.”  And any chore or choice of activity can expand to take up more time.  When time is no longer wasted being “productive”, the choices we make in spending time become more deliberate and fulfilling.

Common wisdom suggests that as one ages it is necessary to continue to challenge one’s mental faculties in order to avoid mental deterioration and its accompanying dementia.  For some people, this means becoming Sudoku or cryptogram addicts.  My choice is re-learning the electric bass and guitar played during my frivolous wasted youth.

And, believe it or not, attending lectures.  A major perk to living in Las Cruces is New Mexico State University and its Dona Ana Community College.  The DACC operates the Academy for Learning in Retirement which offers lectures in the auditorium of an assisted living community in the city.  Normally the lectures are an hour and a half each and run in a series of four lectures on a topic.  Past lectures have included mathematics, history of New Mexico, and the recently concluded series on jazz music.  Upcoming series titles are “Economic Policies and a Tour of the Heavens,” “Narco Violence in Mexico,” and “Torture and Intelligence in the US War on Terrorism.”  These lectures are usually presented by professors expert in the field.  For example, the jazz series lectures were given by a performing musician who is well reviewed.  Check out the ALR website for more information.

But whatever you do, don’t retire to Las Cruces.  Too much traffic, too windy, dust storms block views of the mountains, the students jam up all the clubs and restaurants by the university;  you do not want to be here.  Keep repeating that to yourself……….while those of us already here continue to enjoy the 350+ sunny days and the spectacular Organ Mountains.

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