When my parents retired, I heard all those disclaimers about, "We really don't know where all our time goes, but we just don't have time anymore to do what we like to do."
I always thought that was pretty funny. What do you mean you don't have any time in retirement? You should have hours of surplus time. Both of them put in long hours at work and suddenly they are not working. Where could the time have gone?
Well, now I get to hear Wife Nancy expressing the same woes.
I never have any credible answer when she asks that rhetorical question, "Where does all our time go?" I just get up in the morning, do what I'm told and go to bed again at night, just hoping that tomorrow won't be any busier.
I'm thinking that if Wife Nancy doesn't get to the bottom of all this, we might have to hire a private eye to do a time and motion study to grub up the cause of all this. I must hear the same question several times a day and I'm really frustrated when I never have a good answer.
I do get a little perplexed when I see the "Things To Do" section of the paper filled with circled items. And when I see Wife Nancy with all three papers spread out in front of her, it looks like she is in full research mode trying to map out the safest course for us to arrive at the end of the week still standing. I've learned never to interrupt her when she is in the middle of these perplexing planning processes. I'll bet war rooms have less tension in them.
We are squarely placed in the middle of a hugely talented collection of resources. One can pursue interests in any art field, literary endeavor, music field, photography endeavor, etc. Almost any hobby you've heard of has groups that you can join. There are discussion groups, relaxation groups, book clubs, restoration clubs, hiking groups and animal clubs, just to name a few.
When friends ask what it's like to be retired, I tell them to try to retire to an area where you are the only one retired. If you live in an area such as Sequim, with more retired people than working people, there is just too much to do. Too many very inviting things that tempt you right out of your cave.
There are more incredibly talented, experienced and knowledgeable people in this town than anywhere I've ever lived. And they're all generous, modest people, not at all taken by their accomplishments and awards. There's enough intellectual heat generated here to power up a small city. Projects, displays, clubs, learning opportunities, public service organizations, just to name a few. There are more published authors per square inch than probably anywhere.
One morning awhile back I remember waking up wondering what the day might have in store for me. But not to worry, Wife Nancy had our plans all nailed down. By the end of the day I thought I might require oxygen and IV nutrients just to gain back enough strength to be able to hit the road for the evening's activities.
When you look at the many opportunities in town, it's truly gratifying. We are quite fortunate to live here with all this energy buzzing about us.
The events I can remember last month included the OTA picnic celebrating the volunteers working to bring the theater remodeling project home, the Art on a Farm project where students were invited to practice a little art out in the serene environment of a working farm, the museum Field Day where we commoners could see some of the behind-the-scenes work that produces the pieces of memories that we have now, Art in the Park held at the Audubon Center, music at McComb Nursery, Music in the Park, the meetings planning and maneuvering to bring us a concert hall - pant, pant, pant.
If you want an upper, just check out our radio station that started as a dream and now involves who knows how many volunteer hours that keep it on the air, just like the big guys. Or, how about the OTA? When you look inside that building and see how far they've come in a relatively short piece of time - it's incredible. A real tribute to the talents and generosity of this town.
If you're bored in Sequim, I'd say that you have no one to blame but yourself.
Jim Follis is a retired school administrator, has published two books and currently writes three newspaper columns. Eating, drinking and making merry are his professed hobbies. Traveling, trekking and observing people follow not far behind.
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