A friend I like very much, and would love to see, called this week to suggest we meet for lunch. I was pleased. Between her calendar and mine, we were unable to find a day on which we were both free. No time to get together right now. Trudy and I decided we’d like to see “The Jungle Book’, playing now in local theatres. For two weeks we’ve been trying to find an afternoon on which we both can make it. It hasn’t been possible yet. All three of us are retired….
‘There is no time, no time,
Not even for a kiss,
Not even for this,
Not even for this rhyme.’
These lines were in a poem our class memorized in grade four. I don’t remember who wrote it, but I’ve never forgotten this part. The author must have been, like me at present, in her golden years. It is so true….
I thought I was busy when I was a wife and mother of three, with a full-time job, plus being busy with two dogs, one cat, a gopher snake, a rabbit, three chickens, two birds, a lizard and a garden — which held much-loved plants the kids sometimes gave names to. I used to think that after the children grew up and went off on their own — hopefully each one taking part of the menagerie, my life would be simpler.
That time is here. I am comfortably ensconced in an apartment, my only living responsibilities the few straggly plants which refuse to die from neglect. This was to be the well-deserved, less-rushed phase of my life; a time for reflection and repose. After years of driving children to and from classes I’d have given my eyeteeth to attend, I would, at last, have time to pursue my own interests. Ha! Double ha!
It now takes a larger investment of time just to keep my old body going. I am slower. Everything takes longer. Listen carefully and you can hear my arthritic joints creaking. Then there are all those ‘shoulds’. I ‘should’ spend some time on my Exercycle, which now sits in my bedroom taunting me. I ‘should’ do hand exercises for my painful fingers; neck exercises to retain flexibility; rotate my shoulder joints to help lessen their pain; toughen the muscles in my legs by stiffening them and lifting slowly to reduce stress on my oh-so painful knees; and if I were really good, do exercises to strengthen my core, plus ‘Kegal Exercises’ for my pelvic floor. I attend Arthritis exercise classes twice a week, was a loyal member of a weekly Tai Chi class for years until my knees became just too painful. I’m tired just thinking about all of it!
This body of mine is demanding more attention than I feel able to give. If I don’t walk each day, my stiff body rebels. I won’t even talk about the caring doctors who work hard at helping me keep it going and the time it takes for the many appointments I have with them.
Afternoon naps, which used to be a treat, have now become a necessity. Zzzzz. Then, there is my determination to reform poor eating habits and lose weight, meaning I must take the time to prepare decent meals. I’m exhausted by it all. Its absolutely hopeless.
Retired friends often say they don’t know how they ever had time to work. There was a time I didn’t understand what they were talking about. I sure do now.
However, we always find time for laughter.
I would write a witty and meaningful comment on this post, but I simply don’t have the time.
This is EXACTLY what I am saying ALL the time! Almost word for word… Esp the physiotherapy part! We’re supposed to spend more time on exercises to keep up range of motion and strengthen weak areas as we get older, but who has the time? I know my working friends in our 50’s should be doing it but it means taking precious time from other activities.
– You almost have to have be like an athlete where you are training every day.
And I’m ALWAYS thinking about, “Well, now that I’m not working, I should have 8 free hours a day – WHERE ARE THOSE HOURS????”
I think for one thing, we never got enough sleep when we were working – probably only 7 hours when I needed 9, and now I probably SHOULD be getting 10 or 11. So right there, that’s 3 or 4 hours gone just because you are now getting the correct amount of sleep.
What also adds probably another 3-4 hours, is that once we are out of the rat race we live life at a more reasonable, relaxed pace. Working 40-50 hours a week, plus commuting time, means we were running frantically around doing chores and squeezing in very short 2 hour visits with friends – with no time to smell the roses.
Plus like you say, we are simply too tired to do as much.
Its amazing isn’t it? Time is one of those mysterious things – its like air, or water for a fish. Its something we swim in, but aren’t aware of because we can’t see it or touch it.