… drink sangria in the park and then later when it gets dark, we go home.
Just a perfect day, feed animals in the zoo then later a movie, too, and then home.”
Had a great day yesterday, wouldn’t go as far as it being a Lou Reed Perfect Day. There was no sangria, no zoo, no movie though there was a bit of home.
Despite the grey dankness of a February day and me doing nothing much out of the ordinary I felt strangely high. I began to wonder whether I’m starting to get the hang of retirement though I’m old enough to know there’s no magic formula to being happy and once glimpsed it can be elusive.
What made the day so good was the quality of my social interactions, feeling fit, getting a few things done very efficiently and the complete absence of bad stress.
Partly stimulated by yesterday’s blog I had a great chat first thing with Mrs Jones about life and our future aspirations. I then had a series of convivial conversations with my gym buddies – different people, different topics but all easy, relaxed, engaging, useful, life-affirming.
I was red-hot efficient with a range of tasks sorting the car’s MOT, getting a good price for a couple of items on eBay as part of my decluttering campaign and getting all my work-related jobs sorted.
I had a work meeting with the staff of a small, local retail business I’ve been working with for a few years. The boss is a similar age to me, he ran the meeting well, there was some good interaction and I felt respected and able to make a useful contribution.
I’ve never been a particularly chatty person, far too much of my conversation was transactional, talking to staff and customers, it was all about getting things done. Although it wasn’t pleasurable it was all the talk I really wanted at the time. I hated conferences and networking events and this carried through into my social life where I often avoided and sometimes dreaded social interactions.
Now I seek out conversation, take my time, listen a lot, feel like I’ve got interesting things to say and it makes me feel good.
Amidst yesterday’s perfect day I also realised that there was a complete absence of bad stress in my life. In my busier world of work I used to either feel stress, more often than not brought on by staff issues, or was worried about the next stressful event on the horizon.
I had a few deadlines yesterday, things that needed doing urgently but none of the bad feelings that can go with having a bit of pressure. I’d always thought humans had a propensity to invent stress in their life when there wasn’t any. I thought that in retirement I’d find things to worry about that were unimportant but that’s certainly not happening.
I’m lucky right now not to have any health concerns, maybe because of the lack of stress, I don’t have parents to look after and all the kids seem in a good place in jobs and relationships.
So I’ve got myself in a good place without doing anything special. To quote the lyrics of another 40s born pop icon who is no longer with us: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” Beautiful Boy, John Lennon.