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February 11, 2017 / Meredith

Weekend Coffee Share ~ 02/11/17

Where have I been?  Hiding under the blankets I presume.  Hiding from lots of things – politics, aging parents*, and I’ll never delete myself from the list.  Yes, I’ve been hiding from myself.

This week I had two lunch dates with two different friends.  One of those friends I’ve known since 7th grade.  The other I’ve known for a much shorter time, which friendship was developed in a professional atmosphere.  The first friend and I retired within months of each other, last year.  The second friend is still working in the same place I used to work.  I discovered some interesting things about myself with these two lunches.

Talking to the first friend, I’ll call her Linda, was a little depressing.  We retired within months of each other taking advantage of the very antiquated Rule of 90, the yardstick to retirement in government employment.  The Rule of 90 doesn’t exist anymore, as far as I know, and in fact used to be known as the Rule of 80.  The “rule” is a formula which adds the employee’s age with the number of years of service; if the sum equals the “rule,” one can retire with full benefits.  Nice for those who want(ed) to retire before Social Security age.  Luckily for me and Linda we were able to sneak into government service before the Rule of 90 went out of fashion, so we were able to retire before reaching the very ancient age of 62,65, 67, or whatever the proper retirement age is these days.   People envied us to the point of hating us.  We wouldn’t have had to retire, but we couldn’t stand it anymore so just took the leap.

As Linda and I ate our stir fry, egg rolls and rice noodles, Linda and I compared notes about how our retirement lives are going.  We both admitted that so far we haven’t pursued any of the things we said we’d do when we retired.  Strangely enough we aren’t even bothered by it.  That bothered us.  Are we living the dream?  I left that lunch feeling stuffed with MSG but empty of dreams.

Three days later I had lunch with the second friend, I’ll call her Heather.  She’s working in a place I’m still familiar with.  It’s hard to get the people and images and situations out of my mind even after a year of being removed.  She can’t even relate to being retired because 1) she’s a bit younger than I am and 2) no Rule of 90.  Toward the end of our lunch she told me that on her birthday this year she reflected on her life and decided she has the life she wants.  She recently married a man she loves and who loves her, she has a nice home, is surrounded by her beloved dogs, and has a good relationship with her parents.  “It’s a good life,” she said.  And then she asked me how I felt about my life…

I’d already told her that the retirement life was a big adjustment and I’m still not completely adjusted.  I also told her about the conversation I’d had with Linda just days before.  But thinking about it for a moment I told Heather, yes, I have a good life and I’m happy with it.  Knicky and I love each other and are very good to each other.  I have freedom to do whatever I want, or neglect anything I want.  I can still spend time with my parents, which a lot of people my age can’t do anymore.

So much can be said for these two lunch dates.  One left me depleted, the other uplifted.  This is no reflection on the women I had lunch with, but the perspective I had after each lunch date.  I’m glad I had lunch with both of them, but am doubly glad I had lunch with Heather after the lunch with Linda.  I’m feeling more positive and more inspired now, and am certain I’ll act upon that inspiration.  Better yet, I’ll share that inspiration with Linda, my life-long friend, so we both can go forward in our retirement lives with vigor.

I wonder how other people have entered into the retirement years.

*Note – I don’t really hide from my aging parents.  They take priority.  But sometimes I relish time under the blankets when they don’t need me.

See what others are talking about over coffee by clicking on the linky thing. 

The End

 

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3 Comments

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  1. bettylouise31 / Feb 12 2017 8:31 am

    Your lunch dates your a good outlet about life. Think Positive! Hugs!

  2. Dale / Feb 13 2017 12:11 pm

    And that, my dear, is the purpose of keeping in touch with old/new friends. We gain perspective and insight and then can share with others!
    Sounds like a very fruitful week for you…

    • Meredith / Feb 13 2017 1:21 pm

      You are so right. There are no friends like old friends, but once in a while you’ve got to mix it up a bit. Thanks for your comment!

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