I’ve now been out socially a few times meeting with other vaccinated friends in outdoor dining situations. It has been wonderful catching up with friends and co-workers after over a year of lockdown. One of the first things my still-working friends ask is, “What are you doing now that you’re retired?” I should have been prepared for this question but I wasn’t. My hesitation was noticed and one friend tried to help me out. “I bet you’re reading a lot.” “Yes, yes,” I agreed. What else would a retired school librarian do?
After my initial hesitation, I tried listing projects that had been undertaken but, unfortunately, that didn’t sound like enough. After all, I wasn’t the one who actually reroofed the house or laid down the new floor. I mentioned this blog but that, too, didn’t seem to account for a year’s worth of “free time”. So the next time I was asked, I replied, “Absolutely nothing!” with a big smile. That got a chuckle but still didn’t seem like a good answer and, of course, it’s not true. I do stuff everyday. One can’t help it.
But now, I think I’ve come up with the perfect answer. The next time someone asks what I’ve been doing since my retirement I’m going to reply, “Whatever I want!” This is truthful (other than doctor appointments) and will be more to their satisfaction. I don’t believe they really want to hear a list of projects or the details of my daily routine, or even what I may consider a true accomplishment. I mean I cleaned out, painted, and reorganized my entire pantry! Come on! That was huge, but really impressive? Worth detailing? I think not. (Please ignore the fact that I’m telling you about it here.) And I have friends that do things like that in a weekend.
What kind of answer do they expect of me? Here are a few I would like to give:
- I came up with a plan to end world hunger while sitting on my couch.
- I came up with a plan to end world hunger, my plan worked and I actually solved world hunger. (better)
- I wrote a novel and it’s now being made into a movie.
- I wrote a novel, adapted it into a screenplay, and it’s now being made into a movie in which I’m directing and starring. (better)
- I built a lab in my garage, invented a miracle wrinkle cream, sold the formula and made millions. (I’m getting better at this.)
- I hiked all 2,190 miles of the Appalachian Trail by myself, in winter, in 3 months. (This is my favorite.)
I can’t actually try out any of these sarcastic answers without sounding like a smart ass and possibly embarrassing a well-meaning friend so I’m going to go with “whatever I want.” I’ll let you know how that goes.