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Friday, November 15, 2019
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Sweet Spot

 
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I have found a sweet spot in this thing called retirement. It has taken me a while to figure out how a man who has worked since the age of 13 deals with this thing called retirement. I was one of those driven males who usually awakened before the alarm sounded and was dressed and off to work early in the morning. It was not unusual for me to be at work as much as one hour before the scheduled start time for my workday. For most of my life, after completing my day at the hospital or office, I would come home and work several hours here on the farm. I never thought a whole lot about my work schedule. Work gave me a sense of purpose and self-worth.
    I am now mostly retired. Well, I do see clients at my office two afternoons a month. But, I hesitate to call that work since I enjoy keeping that small number of scheduled appointments.
    Now my schedule is much different. I get up when I wake up. If it is dark, I look for something to do in the house. If it is light, as it was this morning, I love to take my coffee cup and stroll about the garden.
     My attire this morning was just to wear my sweatpants and a t-shirt and slip my bare feet into my rubber boots. Then I was able to walk about the dew covered garden and enjoy its beauty even before the sun had risen above the oak and maple tree line to the east of this oasis.
     I recall the many years that it was necessary for me to wear a suit and tie each day to work. When I retired from the hospital, I decided that wearing suits was not something I was going to do on a daily basis. I love my fleece sweats and they are sufficient to allow me comfort as I patrol the garden between the tool barn and my house. The hot coffee and cool breeze provide just the right climate for me to celebrate the beginning of a new day.
    In addition, I no longer wear a wrist watch. I have some very nice watches that are stored in a case. I find no purpose in wearing them since most of the time I do not have a rigid schedule to follow.
    Today as I walked in the garden I noted the freshness of the many flower blossoms that greeted me. They were damp with the rain and dew of the previous night. I was stunned by the blossoms of one of my large hosta plants near my back door. I was reminded that this daily ritual is much more pleasant than the many years of commuting between my Shelbyville farm and my Louisville workplace.
    When I grow old, I think I will let my beard grow long and wear Hawaiian shirts all year long. Maybe I will trade my LL Bean leather slippers for flip-flops. But I’m quite certain I will continue to wear my fleece sweats. And, yes, each morning as I visit the garden out back, I will carry my ceramic coffee mug and my digital camera...just in case I see an image that I cannot allow to pass me by.