Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Leisurely Life

I’ll be honest.  Not having to get up and go to work every day is pretty awesome.  The only real downside is the guilt.  At my age, I should be a productive member of society, and yesterday my biggest accomplishment was painting my toenails.  Even when I’m having a productive day by my standards, I still feel lazy for not having an actual job.  As H. Jackson Brown, Jr. so eloquently put it, “We seldom enjoy leisure we haven’t earned.”

My parents were visiting this past week, and I couldn’t help but envy them.  Not only do they have the freedom to do nothing all day, but after 30+ years as public school teachers, they’ve earned the right to not feel bad about it.  People often say that retirement can be a “difficult transition,” but my parents didn’t seem to have any problem adjusting.  Literally hours after finishing their last day of work, they jumped in the car and moved to a retirement community in Florida, thus fulfilling my dad’s lifelong dream of living on a golf course.  They sold their truck, bought a golf cart, and never looked back.

My mother originally planned to seek part-time employment at the local post office but has since decided that she doesn’t have the time for it, what with water aerobics, Tuesday Scrabblers, and “lunch and a movie” outings with the other wives.  My father wants to attend bartending school but has no interest in working as a bartender; he would use the knowledge for entertaining purposes only.  I thought it was a silly idea, until I realized that my parents have more friends and a busier social schedule than I do.  Every night, it’s something: Western casino night, “Whole Lotta Colada” night, Pirate Cruise night, 2-for-1 happy hour night at the clubhouse.  The other day when I called, they were at a poolside luau, roasting an actual pig.

When they’re not busy partying, they’re training for a mini-triathlon or volunteering at Manatee Park.  So it’s not like they’re without purpose.   My father’s big goal for November is to go see the Rockettes and get his picture taken with them while wearing his tuxedo.

It's nice to see my parents embracing the leisurely life.  I don't think they've ever been happier.  I fully plan on following in their footsteps.  After I’ve earned it, of course...


  1. Being a productive member of society is vastly over rated.

  2. Well put, Helena. Especially in this crazy world.