I never liked the term “retired”–it reminds me of an old horse put out to pasture to die. It’s done to you, it’s passive. When we’re forced by unavoidable circumstances to give up our jobs, or the work world can’t use us anymore, it spits us out into the waiting room, where we’re supposed to play golf or bingo or be zombies on drugs until we die. We have little income, not working, so we’re considered expendable parasites, especially by the current incoming political mobsters. But surprisingly, this post isn’t about that.
Being retired isn’t something I had expected to be any time soon, but life in all its unpredictability had other plans. I expected to have to work hard until I dropped dead. Instead, having to caregive indefinitely for my parents, I thought perhaps they’d outlive me! Otherwise, without prospects, I’d end up homeless, or close to it. But I’ve droned on about this ad nauseum in the past, and this post also is not going there again.
Now, here I am, not dead, not a drugged zombie, not under an overpass, and confronted by the phenomenon of being an idle “retiree” with time on my hands! The world outside labors and struggles on, and here we sit, getting to sleep, cook, read, write, and watch Netflix–the unthinkable. You’d think I’d feel privileged and relieved, but some days I feel so lazy, restless, and wasteful of time. We don’t have spare cash to go do or buy frivolous things to entertain ourselves, so we pretty much just stay home and be boring.
Not that I’m complaining! It beats being homeless or hopeless. It’s just weird to have so much empty time, when others are working and slaving just to get by, or out there doing Matters of Consequence. I think I have too much time to think, thus all the mental agonizing over Life the Universe and Everything. Hm, what other clichés can I inject in here?
It just seems ironic that when I finally get the free time I’ve always longed for, I don’t have the resources, energy, or wherewithal to use it wisely or effectively. I’m an Aquarius, what can I say? I should be out there fixing the world! Or at least making more worthwhile use of my time, now that I have some.
Now here comes the truly honest revealing part–I’m actually a lazy blob who revels in staying home and doing homey things. Gasp. What a shock. Not. I’d have to fight my Inner Hibernator to go out there and fight Injustice, or even go grocery-shopping. I fear conflict and confrontation. Having to deal with official business or bureaucracy of any kind gives me extreme anxiety. I avoid phones altogether. I like being online because it gives the illusion of being safe and on your own terms. You can come and go anonymously, like an invisible spy. You can interact without engaging too much. Perfect for an introvert, coward, or procrastinator, like me.
Fooled you again, this post is actually about none of the above. It’s about keeping a resolution to practice my writing (on whatever) every day, and limit my time online doing mindless stuff. I’m trying to substitute good habits for bad. As with any nemesis, such as organizing and decluttering stuff, or exercising, I’ve found that if I do just a very limited amount in each category daily, it’s easier and less daunting to do again the next day. Thus a new habit is formed.
Seriously, try it. It works, if I don’t back down. It sucks doing it at first, but later I feel better about myself, and less intimidated next time. Maybe it’s just part of my obsession with fighting back chaos with order. I don’t do chaos well. I did my time with it, and it makes me crazy. I need some external order, at least some semblance, around me to feel internally sane and okay. Some people can function with disorder swirling around them, and I admire them, but it doesn’t work for me.
Anyway, many detours later, on one of which I seem to have mislaid my point, there you have my daily writing assignment. Making and keeping resolutions is also a new concept for me, like being retired. I’m being resolute and resolved. I guess that’s the point.