It hardly seems possible: it’s been nearly a year and a half since I retired. Some mornings I wake with a start, re-living that old-time feeling “I overslept and I’m gonna be late for work.” This is a treat, since I can sleep in as long as I want. Some mornings, I indulge in the shameless luxury of turning on the TV and lingering in bed.
Retirement certainly provokes ample opportunities to keep “gentleman’s hours”. Marathon 10 to 11-hour sleep-ins are possible. In truth, the lure of a pot of fresh-ground French Roast usually has me out of bed before I even get my 8 hours in. Now that I can sleep as long as I want, I often don’t sleep as long as I should.
Back in our school days, we used to slog through the September – June school year for the promise of nearly a quarter-year of summer vacation. Over the next 45 years in the workplace, employers substituted the traditional 1 to 4 weeks paid vacation time, depending on seniority, “human resources” policy, and what they thought we should be able to tolerate.
I stayed up late last night, coding in Perl and mySQL until 2AM for a private web project of my very own. It isn’t work when you’re doing it for yourself. The $0.00 pay isn’t anything to write home about, but the satisfaction of seeing your own project come to life is one hell of a rewarding experience.
After that, I stayed up another half hour watching the tail end of a PBS Churchill documentary.
So, this morning I got up at 7:30AM by mistake, misreading the digital clock on the wall without my glasses. As long as I was up, I fired up that pot of dependable, aromatic French Roast. The way I figure it, I shouldn’t officially be up until 10:30AM.
My mom used to be fond of a saying that she was “non compos mentis” until her second cup of coffee. It’s entirely possible I’m not entirely awake yet. Who cares? The time to compose this short post was all “free”. It was a gift. Soon, I can put last night’s test code through its real-time shakeout.
The retirement scenario most closely resembles the title of that old Beach Boys album, “Endless Summer”.
You are 15, the sky is blue, the sun is starting to peek through the faded summer vacation cabin curtains, and a gentle breeze stirs over the lake. What do you want to do, sleep in, or dash down to the boat dock and do a little fishing?
This brings to mind that celebrated old Bernard Shaw quote, “youth is wasted on the young.” No, no, I didn’t believe that when I was young, of course, but now it is starting to make a little more sense.
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