The R Word

as in R-E-T-I-R-E-M-E-N-T…

Wednesday, May 19. My last day of work. Retirement is official Thursday,  July 1.

Saturday morning. A long list of things I plan or need to do. I don’t recall the reason. I opened my camera bag. Inside, I found a copy of Dressed for Death, a Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery by Donna Leon. I read the back cover. I opened the book. 5:00 p.m. I finished the book. A great feeling! Not the slightest qualm about accomplishing nothing on my To Do list.

Sunday morning. I think I’ll spend the day reading… because I can. Ken Follett’s A Place Called Freedom. So much for my “junk food” reading. Then, I picked up Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson. Well into William Least Heat Moon’s Blue Highways: A Journey into America, I feel my desire to begin an American odyssey being fueled.

Yesterday. An appointment with my cardiologist. My blood pressure was 94 over 70. “My blood pressure is lower than usual,” I told the doctor.

“Oh,” she said, “that’s because you’re retired.”

“You think that’s what it is,” I asked.

“I know that’s what it is,” she said. “I observe this often. When people retire, their blood pressure goes down.”

This morning. A friend asked, “How are you enjoying retirement?”

“I’m not sure,” I said. “I’ve been too busy reading.”

“R,” as in “Retirement.”

“R,” as in “Reading!”