Retirement! One of the fond hopes of retirement is to finally have the time to do so many things that fall in the “I’ll do that when I retire” category. I had been warned that this was just a fantasy and indeed so far it is. The long list of books I planned to read and tasks to do still loom as something for which I have no time.
One of the unexpected effects so far has been the impact of a change in routine. For 60 years my life has been governed by someone else’s schedule. School hours for 21 years and office hours for 40. Little did I realize the extent to which it governed my life. From meal times to when and where to go grocery shopping to dietary habits, everything revolved around the infrastructure of a schedule imposed on me by circumstances. The first reaction in retirement is to keep the same schedule. Pretend that important tasks need to be done on the same timetable and keep those hours. But that seems pointless. What’s the use of being retired then? So a new routine needs to be invented. And coordinated with my wife’s whose life has now been rudely interrupted. I suspect it will take a good deal of trial and error to work it out. The freedom is enjoyable—at least for now.
I was most grateful for the outpouring of expressions of love and appreciation by so many ASA members through email and at the retirement events earlier this month. The book of memories I was given was extraordinary and an incredible treasure. Many people saw the live streaming of the event and others can see it in the recording at http://network.asa3.org/mpage/ASAmeetED. My comments at that meeting include some thoughts that I’d like to pursue in these musings to come. But for now, my brain just needs a little relaxation.