As I gradually learn how to enjoy a successful retirement, I have re-learned the importance of daily rituals. Some of these for instance are: enjoying my cup of coffee as I sit on my bed and watch the Today Show, having breakfast on Saturday morning with my brother at our favorite greasy spoon, enjoying coffee one morning during the week with a favorite TX friend, going to the Y for exercise. They are more than habits. I look forward to these things as a highlight of my day/week. Next week I start school. I went to a meeting and learned about the ‘almost free’ senior education offered by our local community college. I have always loved going to school and the opportunity to take fun classes (such as Classic Movies) without the stress of tests is not to be missed. I know this will become another important ritual in my new life. Over these past few months I have learned that the books I read on successful retirement are correct. You need to keep active (or, in my case, get active), eat fresh, healthy foods, volunteer, challenge your mind and cultivate friendships.
When I retired I expected to pack my bags and start traveling. However, my little Pye, had a lesson in store for me. At the wise kitty age converted to human years of 92, she knew I first needed to settle into my new home, learn to appreciate the opportunities not working every day provided, learn to meet new people and establish friendships and lead a healthier lifestyle. She is also trying to teach me patience. Every day with an elderly cat is not all joy. Occasional incontinence and vomiting are just two of the kitty habits I know she wishes she could have spared me. Maybe the most important thing she is teaching me is you can’t plan everything. Life is not as simple as a spreadsheet or checklist. My retirement budget did not include a kitty expense line item. Most importantly, the joy she finds in life each day is her best gift to me. She is so happy now that the days are becoming a tad cooler (in TX that means going from 100 to 90!) and she is able to go out in the courtyard and lie in the sun and stretch. So, I wait to start traveling and learn to lie in the sun and stretch.