If you’re like me, the phrase “I’m sorry” makes regular appearances in your conversations. I say it when I’m late, when I feel embarrassed, when someone tells me they feel sad about something.
Most of us have spent our lives learning.
We went to school, we had role models and we discovered many things simply by doing and stumbling and doing again. We have learned from our friends, our parents, our spouses and partners and our children.
If you’re like me, life seems perfect when there is a manageable routine. I’m not a stick-in-the-mud, but I like it when I can plan ahead, when I know how my day is going to go and when I feel confident about the tasks on my to-do list.
But the longer I enjoy my ventures in the land of retirement, the more I’m also learning to value the unexpected.
For the last year or so, I’ve been a little scattered with a few too many things on my plate and I let my overall fitness suffer. So, getting back into shape was definitely on my to-do list this year.
Whether we need to tell our adult children that we’ve started dating, or our best friend confides in us that she has been diagnosed with cancer, we often find ourselves in the midst of a difficult conversation.
I went on my first diet when I was 14. I had been a gymnast and a diver when I was younger, and as I slipped into the more sedentary life of a teenager – and my body entered puberty – I started worrying that I weighed too much.
Yesterday I took my 79-year-old friend to the hairdresser. We go out a couple of times a week, with occasional stops at the store to stock her refrigerator or at the drug store to pick up a prescription. Then we visit for a while when we get back and catch up on family news.
When you’re a year or two away from retirement, or from your kids graduating and moving on with their lives, you start fantasizing about how wonderful it’s going to be to have lots of free time to do whatever you want to do.
I’m the first of my close friends to retire – by a long shot. In fact, even among my work friends, most of them still have another five years to go. Then they can turn off the alarm clock and plan their days to their liking.