One of the great things about retirement is that you can become timeless. You don’t have to leave the house at 7:29 in order to beat the red light at the corner of Maple and First so that you walk through the entrance door to the office at 8:30. It will be okay if you arrive at 9:15. No one will shout at you – you are retired, remember? You can make all your appointments after 10 so you miss the traffic and your lunch break is highly flexible, you can even stretch it to 3. In fact the only real fixed daily appointment you have is the one on the couch between 2 and 4.
That’s become my time for the daily struggle with the New York Times crossword, my anti-dementia exercise. Otherwise the day, assuming you have no pressing tasks such as work or other fund-raising exercises to do, is ‘loose and floppy’. If you have to sit in the doctor’s waiting room for an extra 10 minutes, that’s fine. If you have to wait for friends who arrive late for coffee in the mall, that’s quite forgivable; after all, you will be doing the same to them.
The retiree is relaxed and passes the days smoothly and effortlessly. He never rushes and is never in a hurry. The picture of the retiree ambling along the sidewalk with a folded newspaper under one arm and a walking stick in the other hand is both reassuring and comforting. It means he’s thrown away his watch, the world is fine and all systems are operating as they should.