Back in the good old days when I used to think about retirement, I had several different scenarios in my mind. One was a great picture of me sitting on a river bank somewhere, lazily trolling a fishing line across the water and waiting endlessly for a bite. It was all nonsense. I fished only twice in my life, I was bored stiff both times and I have never lived close to any river. In retirement I am no closer.                                         

Another picture, more realistic and based on my activities for a number of years, was that of me, pipe in mouth, scrunched up over a spinning pottery wheel and churning out little bowls and coffee mugs. Other pictures featured me lying on the couch reading, or watching little grandchildren playing on the lawn. Only the couch picture ever came anywhere close to reality. The little grandchildren all grew up so fast that by time I got to retire they were towering over me, or else they were in uniform and carrying intimidating guns. 

Retirement has worked out to mean writing a blog – a self-inflicted activity designed to keep me occupied for a couple of hours each day, an odd hour of work here and there for an old engineering company, sitting around in the coffee shop downstairs and gossiping with the neighbors, exercising, searching for books in the library, surfing on the Internet, and exchanging mindless emails that go around. And then there is the TV which can wreck any plans, retirement or not.

There is a famous quotation on the subject of life and retirement: “Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -whew – what a ride!!!”

We all choose our own retirement path.