There are plenty of things to complain about as we age. Trying unsuccessfully to remember a word happens to me almost daily and is utterly maddening. Like all of us, I have regular aches and pains – back pain, neck pain, foot pain, and the headache I’ve had since before Christmas, courtesy of Covid. Gee thanks!
But setting aside the gripes, there are some legitimate things to love about getting older.
I absolutely love being retired. Flyboy and I both volunteer at our local veterans service organization. I was talking to a client who had come in for assistance who said, “I assume you are retired?” Yes, that is right. “Can I ask you a question? How do you like being retired?” Why, I love it! “That’s not the answer I get from most people I talk to,” she said. “Most people have no routine, are lonely, and feel a general sense of worthlessness. But not you?” Oh my goodness no!
This lovely lady was fearing what retirement might hold for her – mainly, having no reason to get up in the morning. Even after a full military career followed by years of working another job, she wasn’t ready to call it quits. She feared what might come next. Boredom. Life without meaning and purpose.
I did my best to encourage her and shared every benefit to retirement I could think of in less than three minutes. My favorite?
The gift of time.
Today, we got out of bed, ate a leisurely breakfast, drank our coffee, had our morning time with God, chatted with our neighbors, climbed in the truck and drove to the beach, a whole quarter of a mile from our Gulf coast campsite. At this particular beach, one can drive right on and even primitive camp right next to the Gulf of Mexico. We unloaded our anti-gravity chairs and settled in. It’s beautiful here today, 72 degrees, with the bluest of blue skies.
We took a walk, waded in the water, napped in the sun, and drove back in time for a late lunch.
After lunch we located two geocaches and are now reading, writing, and resting while waiting for tonight’s salmon to thaw.
What’s not to love about this retirement?
Yesterday, we enjoyed a magnificent aquarium, and tomorrow we are planning a visit to the world’s longest undeveloped seashore – over 70 miles.
Before you bemoan your life and wonder how anyone on a pastor’s retirement could afford such luxury, hear me. You don’t have to spend a lot of money. We bought a small pull-behind trailer – used – and we are completely content camping in state parks. You don’t have to have a 50 foot motor home to enjoy our beautiful country. We are doing it quite economically. And I am happy to report that after almost three weeks, we still like each other.
Maybe it’s because my beloved Flyboy has a long health resume that we never believed we’d actually get to fulfill this decades long dream, but here we are.
Enjoying the gift of time.
We’re depending on God; he’s everything we need. What’s more, our hearts brim with joy since we’e taken for our own his holy name.
Psalm 33:20 (The Message)