THE TRUE MEANING OF RETIREMENT
Lots of time to read books. Every time I received my weekly salary, I see to it that 20% of it goes to buying books. I have accumulated so much reading materials that a number of them have not been stripped off its cellophane cover yet. This time, I got the spell to unwrap and eventually read them all. It is through reading that I get my bearings for stability, concentration, added ideas to share, patience and scholarship. It is in reading a book cover to cover that I get pleasure, more than eating exotic food or reaching outlandish places. It is one great advantage a reader has over their non-reader counterparts.
I get my personal satisfaction in sharing the ideas I have read to my friends.
It is still however a mystery for me why majority of literates do not read as much since it is virtually a skill which most successful people use; to think that everyone wants to be successful but does not want to exercise the option.
I would spend a great time in my library where I am surrounded by thoughts and ideas of great minds. They are all there lined up and waiting for me to flick on. I can instantly access any discipline I wish to preoccupy myself. And just by reading, I feel accomplished already. I feel whole. I feel great.
Uninterrupted period for writing. No more waiting for a vacant period. No more vacillating on a task just to write down something. No more seeking refuge just to take down ideas that titillates the mind. I have any time of the day to pick up my pen and doodle. It would likewise be a chance to write more books and add more to that which I have published in the past. (I have written 4 books on Corrections, copyrighted 11 intellectual works, one novel, one religious stamp, one pamphlet, and contributed articles on several magazines.)
If the succeeding generations would be composed of readers, I can safely presume that my works will be visited in a hundred more years ahead.
As it were, I am preoccupied with publishing on internet (in my website www.philippineprisons.com) blogs/ articles on about any concern I wish to share.
Time to feed pets regularly. No more surprises of discovering some of my pets dying of starvation and pest infestation. My pet turtle, dogs, monkeys, fishes of various sizes and colors will be given a preference of attention from hereon. It’s a pity that my pet Tarantula, Burmese Python and Scorpions crossed over without them reaching that time when I could have taken cared of them. My pets, my constant and uncomplaining company, have taught me significant values in loyalty, psychology and friendship.
Unli Work outs. I can stay longer in my gym. I already have forgotten martial arts in favor of sedentary activities. Now is the time for me to build up and condition my muscles. A physically endowed and fit old man looks better than a scrawny bumbling young man.
Mingling with the masses. I can go down to the marketplace and interact with the people, haggle with the vendors and engage street rats in a banter. That way I learn their language, that which makes them laugh, that which makes them at ease, that which makes them frustrated. A learning experience I missed during my stint in government.
Strolling in malls made me updated too on the latest fashion and the current craze in music. All the while I was always humming songs and melodies which are already of vintage quality. The thought that the songs I am very familiar with were sang by people who already crossed over makes me twinge in horror.
Rest period called “basketball time.” As a child, I was lured to play basketball even if I never became the athletic kind during my prime. Although I did not grow up into a giant physically, my craze on playing basketball never waned. I would still jump, dribble and shoot alone in my yard, to perspire and imagine that I was one of those NBA players. Even if I am more than 60, I am as agile as any youngster on the court with basketball on hand.
Flexing musical muscle. My voice has neither twang nor timing for any song but I can accompany a crooner by playing the guitar, organ or drums. I can visit musician friends and jam with them to my heart’s content.
A profession in Arts. I was a wannabe artist for a time. I have a skill in sculpture, caricature, painting, woodworks and photography but I never have that moment to showcase it for the world to appreciate. But now, I can face the muse and work on my obra to while away the stress of long life. It was one profession I really loved and could have dedicated my whole life. But I became a bureaucrat and it ruined my creativity to large extent.
A liberal schedule to fix vintage car. Actually, I have a number of vehicles, old ones at that, mostly second-hand, which needed mechanical repairs. Well, not to mention bicycles. It would be a hell of a schedule to study and refresh on my automotive repair vocation. So what if I would have grease all over my body, it would only be me and my vehicle, man vs machine, that will be pitted on the road.
Opportunity to go places. I have seen other countries but I prefer the countryside. Driving for long stretches, for thousands of kilometers on the road makes me high, feeling young and adventurous and gives me a lot of material for my literary and artistic sidelines.
Passing through winding roads and getting stuck in market places have its excitement and thrills. Aside from the colorful, at times drab, surroundings, one notices how people conduct their routine. In southern Luzon, one would notice the movement of the youth. They are almost everywhere. In the Visayas, one notes the predominant activity where adult female virtually rule the economy. The male sector was somewhere hidden from the view. In Mindanao, it’s the male sector’s milieu. Seldom one sees the female out in front.
Already in my twilight, bonus years, I try to enjoy the fruits of my labor. My requirements are simple—- a modest hut, a soft bed, a nice CR, stacks of books, personal ref, laptap with wifi connection,a slick savings, a motorbike and truck. Like John of Patmos (the prophet who wrote Revelation in the Bible), I am happy where I am even if it is only in a remote mountain side.
Most of all, I can sleep anytime of the day contented as an Olympus god. Life is good. My contemplative moments are dedicated to imagination. I imagine that I am already in heaven, in the ethereal world roaming around, whenever I have time to travel, checking on internet my kids as if I am already a spirit and writing my thoughts to share as if I am an angel. That way I know how it feels to be longed, missed and loved even if I have not passed away yet. If push come into shove, I am more than prepared for the worst—-that is, to live up to a hundred.