OK, ok, I know that for some of you, it's a major struggle. You only do it because you have to, as in, you'll be fired from your job if you don't show up (which could lead to a big digression about working from home, but we won't go there today) and then you wouldn't be able to buy food for your pets, and soon you'd all be sharing an old refrigerator box under a bridge somewhere.
But life as a retiree is different. Other than your spouse, who probably has expectations of you, there typically is no outside force driving you to get out of bed in the morning. And given the news recently, one can be forgiven for not only not getting out of bed, but actually pulling the covers over your head and dreaming of the day when your biggest fear was the monster living under the bed. Now there are monsters living in various offices all around the world that can affect you, and you damn well should be afraid of them.
When you're a kid you are dragged out of bed and forced into the torture chamber that is the modern education system. That continues till you break free of the shackles, and then you are often trapped in the workforce torture chamber for decades, trading the precious moments of your all too short life for money to stave off living in that refrigerator box.
Some people seem to escape and live a great life. Rock stars and movie actors often come to mind, and you couldn't pay me enough to do those jobs. They are trapped in their life more thoroughly than most people. Forced to be creative, coming up with new songs and video ideas or be considered a washed-up failure. Going into the record studio to produce content, knowing that the cost of equipment and people to run the equipment can be calculated in dollars per second. Then there's all the tours, going on the road to do the same show, over and over. How many times has Mick Jagger sung 'Can't get no Satisfaction'?
And movie stars, reciting lines and acting out a part till some director is happy that all involved have it right, knowing you could nail it, and someone else blows it, so you do it again. And again, and again. With constant changes to the script and direction. Kissing someone you dislike. Wondering where your next role will come from. Putting up an image for the press. Being stalked when all you want to do is relax on the beach with your sweetie. Yuck.
But other than hunger and other bio pressures, there has to be something that gets you out of bed. Otherwise you're just marking time till your appointment with the glue factory.
I've been thinking a lot about this. My mom's mom passed away a few years ago, and the other day would have been her 101st birthday. In terms of a lifetime, she missed the century mark by THAT much. Her life expectancy at birth was about 60. My mom is still going strong, minor medical adventures and all, and is well past her life expectancy at birth. I don't have any other living ancestors, but my grandfathers lived to their mid-70's after tough lives. My other grandmother lived to her mid 80's.
My financial advisor looks at those numbers, and advises me to plan for a long retirement. It's always a balance, but outliving your money is generally a bad idea. Relying on the generosity of your fellow citizens is not be the smartest financial plan, and planning for a lottery win is outright stupidity.
Then again, I don't want to be the richest guy in the graveyard either. I fell in love with my first financial advisor (she has since retired young and rich) when I went to her with a pot new money from a work bonus and asked what I should do with it, and she said "Go spend some of it on whatever you call fun, and let me look at what fits best with your financial plan."
In retirement the idea is that you can (mostly) be doing whatever it is that you call fun. For some people that's golfing every day. For some it's buying a travel trailer and living on the road. For some it's making things in your shop. Whatever. But there has to be something. There has to be a reason to get out of bed, a better one that watching the current societal train wreck just to see what happens.
What's important is that most days there is something to do. Sometimes, of course, the thing to do is get up, make coffee, curl into a good book, read until it's time to start drinking wine, and go to bed when you're falling asleep.
I have in the recent past worked on lists of things to do, and that's being refined what with COVID and current work contract negotiations. Some of it will show up here or in my photo blog. Maybe cleaning up the table that sort of functions as a studio could be a photo project.
One of the plans involves the novels. The battery in the laptop is dying, and while the words are safe and could be worked on using any computer, it's nice to do it on the laptop. I'm thinking that if I'm going to go the the time and trouble of getting the battery replaced, I ought to take a step back, assess the whole darn novel thing, and either get serious about publishing it, at the very least to my blog readers and other buddies who have been hearing about it since forever, or give up on it.
And what with the recent back up issues, and the laptop battery dying, and the phone being replaced, and troubleshooting the oldest (semi)-functional computer in the house, I'm thinking that I need a round of updating all the software to current standards, or as current as the hardware will support. Seriously thinking it's time to retire the old email computer (early 2008 after all) and get a newer one. I was thinking I should roll my photo computer to be the email and Linda's general browsing computer, which is total overkill, and get a new one for me. Except the new ones (both photo and laptop) don't seem to be much better than what I have already. And going to the iMac pro for photos is beyond overkill. Holy doodle. So there's some stuff there to sort through.
So since ideas and plans are abstract until they are put into action, here's a sort of abstract photo.
Plus a serendipity from 2016.
Celina, another of her supervising me at work.