Friday, September 28, 2018

Radiating Positive Vibes, The Appearance of a Retiree

I was lagging behind my sister and our Airbnb host, a Brit dressed in a Hawaiian shirt.  The two of them had already rounded a corner and were clipping back along the footpath towards the Eel Pie Island Footbridge.   

The private path on the island (which has no roads and no motor vehicles) passes cottages that embodied the island's heyday of the 1950s and 60's hippie scene – back when the rundown Eel Pie Island Hotel attracted up-and-coming bands and singers like Black Sabbath, David Bowie, the Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd.  Names, most of you my age, would recognize. 

Passing a mirror on an art studio's exterior wall, I halted. The voices of my sister and David were fading.  Above my head a murder of crows – stuffed, wired, and silent surveyed me and the surrounding courtyard with its bizarre bits of artwork, containers planted with nasturtiums, and piles of the island's shipyard steel. 

My expression in the mirror was one of amused delight.  The same expression taken at a much earlier time of my life.
Judith on the left.  Me on the right.

Here I am, I thought, a retiree, gallivanting about on an island with the expression of an amused three-year-old on my face.

Retirement is so different that what I thought it would be.  I had imagined that no longer working would include having to watch T.V.  (I haven’t watched T.V. my entire adult life.)  I would have to begin eating oatmeal every morning, have trouble sleeping, and wear sturdy-looking shoes all the time.  By all those standards, being a retiree has been a disappointment so far.  

Grinning is what I do in retirement.  I cheerfully drink hot chocolate for breakfast most mornings, amuse myself by uploading photos to Instagram, and buy soft Italian leather shoes.  I grin while rowing at the gym, watching salmon spawn in the river near my cabin, and grin knowing that I live in a cabin.  Retirement is more like that old hippie mantra:  Radiate positive vibes! 

(David and my sister have those same positive vibes.  I think they are working towards retiring.)


No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave comments. They are most welcome.