Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Retirement

I imagine retirement. It would be a complicated and difficult transition, but I can picture retirement and it looks good to me. For years, I've figured retirement was out of reach by about twenty years. Maybe, maybe not. Depends on the life I choose to lead.

Told a friend that I don't need to make more money, I need to spend less. Seems easier said than done but I bet it's not that difficult. I'm looking at the things around me this morning: phone, computer, sunglasses, mug of good coffee, briefcase, and fountain pen. These things can teach me.

I have the phone and computer that I need and they'll last at least two years. I get the itch for new toys, but I've owned the same hammer twenty-six years because it still works. Keep going until things are used up. I've no need to spend on computers or phones for a long time.

My sunglasses were expensive. Stephanie bought them for me. I have sensitive eyes and hold onto things that matter. Two years later, they are like new. So long as I keep myself from sitting on them or leaving the things on a restaurant table, I'm all set.

The coffee I brewed before writing. I had planned a stop at the coffee shop, but I have beans, a press, and water doesn't cost to boil. Things I make taste better than those I buy. This is almost always true.

I've had my Lands' End briefcase for years. It replaced one I got for graduation in 1992. That original wore out and the company replaced it. This one is wearing and I'll send it for replacement as well. They guarantee for life and this hasn't been misused. No need to pay when they're willing to honor their agreement.

My fountain pen was a gift from Stephanie and David after I broke my original pen. I threw that one away rashly, not knowing I could have it repaired for a pittance. That haunts me. My wife and friend bought me this pen out of love and I have kept it six years. I bent the nib on it just as I had with my original pen. This time I kept my head and had it restored. I fill it from a $12 bottle of ink that lasts a year and a half.

I live a lavish life. This computer is spectacular, as are the phone, sunglasses, coffee, fountain pen, and bag. I've no need for more. I can write, keep in touch, see, savor, and carry on.

Retirement is about finding a way to live with what I have and do work that I love. It's twenty decisions, not years, away. I don't have all those decisions worked out yet. If you do, come on over. I'll make more coffee. We'll talk.

I am certain only that it begins with the decisions to be content and to always write on.