We are almost through wintertime again, and even though it is not my favorite season of the year, I must admit that it seems to go faster each year. While I was stuck inside by the fire this winter, I had time to reflect on the concept of time for Boomers.
Many of us are retired from our primary careers, but do we have more time than we did when we worked full time? Heck no! I recall a statement I often hear:
“I’m retired. All I’ve got is time.” I wish I could say that! Retired folks that I know are every bit as busy as those who are not retired. After all, working full time is a good excuse to not be in charge of something in the community, at church or for your children and grandchildren. But, if folks know that you are “retired,” then look out. You’d better start screening your calls if you aren’t already. Before you know it, you will be in the 12-items or less grocery checkout line and fighting “cart rage” against the person in front of you whose cart is full because you don’t have TIME to stand in line!
There is no doubt that, as we age, we learn the value of time. We often wonder how much time we have left or how much time we have left with those we despise (as in, I can’t stand her much longer) or those we love as we begin to lose precious people from our lives. I’ve heard many retired people say, “I just don’t have time for that in my life anymore.” Really? Retired people should have time to do anything they want to do. Haven’t we worked hard to earn this golden time? My grandmother used to say, “The older you get, the more time flies.” And, she was right about that…and many other things.
We need precious time with our families, friends and for ourselves. After all, isn’t this the time we were going to take up hobbies? Or finish projects we couldn’t do while working? You know it is a good thing that we do have more unencumbered time when we retire because we have harder choices to make on how to spend it. And, beneath it all, is the feeling that time is passing, and we cannot stop it. (That’s why we don’t have time to waste standing in a grocery line!)
I have often thought about how long months seemed to be when I was a young mother. Who-wee! On a snowy day, it took forever for Daddy to get home! Now, even the yucky months are beginning to fly by. I’ve noticed that I work at least one month ahead in my calendar. It gets filled up so fast. The voice in my head keeps taunting me with, “Now is the time to do it! You don’t know what tomorrow brings. You can rest later when you can’t get around.”
I really believe that most retired people work hard to spend their time wisely because there are very few of us who haven’t sat with a sick friend or comforted a dying one and realized just how valuable time is.
I know this is supposed to be a humorous column, so I will leave you with a funny story from a friend of mine regarding his retired parents who were at the doctor’s office. His mother was waiting in the waiting room, not so patiently. His dad was outside in the car waiting. When 30 minutes was up, and she had not been called back to see the doctor yet, she proceeds to the office window and informs the receptionist that her time is up. She has to go. Her husband is waiting for her in the car, and she has no more time to spend in the waiting room! Both of these dear people were retired! However, they did not choose to spend their valuable time waiting in a waiting room. As she glanced around the room, she saw several other patients who were on their lunch hour from their jobs. They were waiting patiently for the nurse to call their names. They displayed no urgency at all. I rest my case.
Most retired people are good at knowing how to spend time.
Hope you enjoy your springTIME!