I keep wondering when life will slow down, now that I’m totally retired.
It’s apparently very common, or so other retirees have told me.
They offer various explanations. Some say it’s because people know you’re retired, and figure you’ve got some spare time on your hands. Maybe you’ll want to do something to fill your empty hours and give your life some purpose. If that’s the case, they’re quite thoughtful. I suppose the speed with which a person accepts, or rejects, such an offer serves as a barometer on how well the retiree is coping with the golden years.
Then there’s the theory that life has indeed slowed down; the problem is your ability to handle things has slowed too. The result is an offsetting condition in which even a slow pace seems fast to you. I tend to support this concept, assuming it’s not a matter of the time needed to complete a task always expanding to fill the time you have available for it.
I should be grateful to feel this busy. I was concerned I would face a shortage of column material after giving up the daily routine — even in a part-time employment role — of going to the office each day and interacting with the people I meet. As usual, worrying was wasted effort. The topics keep coming, faster and faster, at a pace that means writing a column just once a week requires leaving good ideas behind.
And here I am, squandering this week’s one opportunity.
For decades, I could always depend on at least two August topics. I would devote an entire column on the start of school, and another column on opening night of the high school football season. However, last month was frantic. Columns about the solar eclipse, the death of entertainer Glen Campbell, and Hurricane Harvey preempted such traditional columns.
In order to catch up, despite the fact that the timeliness of such topics has passed for now, I’ve decided to offer summaries of columns I could have written in recent weeks:
• I don’t remember the day I started first grade, but since I don’t, it must not have been traumatic. It was a different story for me when our daughter and son went off for their first days of school many years ago.
• I wasn’t much of a high school football fan when I was a student, but I got into it big-time when I started covering games for the Bulletin. That’s when I finally “got it.”
• My parents grew up in South Carolina, and we lived in North Carolina until I was 15. I don’t need someone on Facebook lecturing me about how I don’t understand the seriousness of such big storms.
• Please don’t lecture me about Confederate statues. Thoughtful people who truly want to do the right thing are on either side of the debate. I’m burdened by the ability to understand both.
• And high school homecoming season has arrived, with Brownwood holding its ceremonies this weekend. I could generate hundreds of words on that.
There, I feel caught up. But I’m not going to close the book on these matters just yet. For one thing, another major hurricane is bearing down. I’ll not pretend the statue debate is resolved, either.
Gene Deason is editor emeritus of the Brownwood Bulletin. His column appears on Fridays. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.