Enjoy and Relax

“You mean you don’t work at all? You’re retired? What do you do all day? I couldn’t just do nothing. I’d go nuts.” Those were my words to friends, relative, and pretty much anyone who would listen. I spouted them like a mantra for years.

Retirement. Who wants it? Who needs it? It’s for sluffers and indolents who have no pride in accomplishment or work ethics. Yes, I spouted those words right up until they crossed my palm with my last paycheck. Then I u-turned like a politician.

Work all day every day just so you can pay more taxes and have no time with friends and family? Who needs it? I’ve earned my rest. I’ve earned some time to myself. See that easy chair with the dust settled on it? I’m cleaning that sucker off and I’m going to stress test it. Then I’m going through the shed and pulling out my golf clubs, my fishing poles and that old tent.

Has anyone seen my walking shoes? I remember I got a pair of them for Christmas a few years ago. I’ve never used them but now that I’ve got time…

I actually did sit in that easy chair. I sat there for hours for days considering what I would do with all this free time. Relax into the good life, that’s what I would do. I brought my old clubs in a cleaned them off. Then I called and set up a Tee time for ten the next day. I don’t need to get up with the early birds.

“Hey, Pop, since you aren’t working, could you possibly take Michael for a couple hours while I run in to the dentist on Tuesday?”

Sure, why not. It’s wonderful that I have all this time and I can do some little thing for my daughter. I had my new mantra now. Retire, to the good life. Her appointment was at ten thirty on Tuesday. What the heck, Tee times can be changed.

The next day my old friends Mavis and Bob dropped in. They were going on a cruise and could I watch their two cats for a week, since I was retired?

“Uh, I guess so.”

It was two whole days before my sister-in-law phoned to ask me to go to the doctor’s office with her. Her doctor had insisted she have someone to drive her home and she knew I was not working anymore, so.

“And can you take me to the grocery store on your way home? Oh, and I need to pick up a prescription for my daughter at the pharmacy. She can’t get there when they’re open. She works, you know.”

I changed the Tee time again. I also played a game of pinochle with a group of very sweet people who invited me to play every Monday and Friday evenings, and would I host the game at my house next week?

Sure, why not? I intend to relax and enjoy and what could be more relaxing and enjoyable than a game of cards

“You’ll provide the refreshment, of course,” said the gal as she handed me the shoebox full of score sheets and pinochle cards. “Oh, and it’s your job to call and get substitute players if someone can’t come. They are supposed to get their own fill in, but they never do. Oh, I know Sarah is not coming next week, so you better get on the phone right away.”

Uh, Okay. I hummed my new mantra as I shuffled through the box for the list of substitutes. Relax and enjoy. I’d better call and change that Tee time again.

“Can you pick up my kids from school and watch them for a couple hours until I get home from work?” My daughter’s plea was so sincere that I could hardly say no. It was just five days a week for the next five months.

Sure, why not?

I picked up the golf clubs that were scattered around my chair in various stages of repair and polishing. The putter felt good in my hands. I promised myself that I’d get out there soon and try it out.

That was when the priest came to the door. “I’ve come to tell you that I’ve signed you up to help out around the church for a few hours each Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday.”

I felt the pulse in my temples thrum, thrum, thrum, but I nodded and smiled right up to the point where he said.

“What do you do all day? I couldn’t just sit around with nothing to do.”

It’s been a month since that day and here I stand in the courtroom in my very best suit. “Honest judge, I’ll pay all his medical expenses.”

Story by G V McNally

Photo by Christoph Keil on Unsplash

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