The hours between lunch and happy.
I used these words recently to describe my visit to a popular area of Atlanta at a time when a good parking space was mine for the taking and I could get alfresco seating at a trendy restaurant without a reservation in order to drink my Diet Coke and enjoy the view. More recently, as I've thought about it, I've concluded that these particular hours illustrate my vision for my new and untested retirement, while they also, in fact, offer up a bit of a problem. On the one hand, I do now have the time to do many of the things that, in the past, I was too tired and busy to do and I’m available during the hours when most people are at their desk, their post, or their station. On the other hand, some of these very same hours sit and laugh at me from my couch and call me names like loser and has been, which hurts my feelings.
I’m a routine-oriented person which has allowed me to survive and enjoy over 40 years in the field of Education. I like to do the same things at about the same time and in the same way and I like to know what those things are in advance. You will never find my picture at the top of a Google search list under the key word “spontaneous”.
I’ve been this way since I was a young child. I remember as a little girl sitting in our small TV room on a summer’s day writing down my vacation schedule, which went something like this:
9:00 Get up
9:05 Brush teeth
9:10 Breakfast and TV
12:00 Lunch and TV
1:00 Get dressed
1:15 Go outside
2:30 Make bed
3:45 Snack and TV
4:45 Practice piano
5:00 Make something
9:00 Read in bed
Aside from some different time slots and an exchange of internet for drawing and the addition of an evening cocktail, I’m afraid my retirement schedule would look very much like that of my childhood. Also note that, with the exception of "make bed", there was nothing akin to "clean room" on my schedule and that certainly hasn't changed.
I’m getting there. I’m holding on to some of the old by continuing to teach on-line for my old college bosses and teaching a writing class at my old school. I’m also doing some new things with volunteer work at the Atlanta History Center (I get to wear a Civil War-era frock and bloomers) and I’m planning writing trips to North Georgia and Stone Mountain, all within the hours between lunch and happy.
The only problem is that those hours, according to my schedule, are for watching TV, having my snack, and making my bed.