I traveled on a plane last week and intentionally put myself in the last row by the bathroom.
As I have stated before, I travel so infrequently now, that all of my flight status has been completely taken away. I guess in some ways, I am now a socialist. So, like most socialists, I act like I know nothing about the airport or the airplane and even seem surprised when I get a bag of peanuts rationed out to me. I used to take great pride in knowing the configuration of a Embraer 170 or an MD90 or an Airbus 320. I even knew that on the outbound flight, I would get orange chicken in business class. What is orange chicken anyway? And why do we have to eat it on an airplane?
So, if I am not going to get a good seat in the front with the millionaires and billionaires, or an acceptable seat in the near-front (referred to as “comfort” seats as inside joke in the airline industry), then I might as well be near the bathroom. This is the only choice I get to make in the socialism of the plane. The people 15 rows ahead of me also only get one bag of peanuts and a seat that is no better than mine and if they want to get to the bathroom, they have to wait for the aisles to be clear. If I am on a regional jet, the millionaires and billionaires have to use the same bathroom as me, yet I am closer to it. Therefore, I can use it before we land and in spite of getting off the plane later, leapfrog the front row people who are using the bathroom in the airport while I am already on my way to the taxi line with an empty bladder.
Another socialist move: I check my luggage so that I do not have to work hard to get overhead space. I figure if my luggage get’s lost then I will simply ask the airline to reimburse me. I can only get paid so much in the socialism of the industry, so I make sure the contents of my luggage are not worth much.
What am I saying? I don’t know.
A Boomer In Transition
I am not referring to a “bucket list.” Don’t have one or need one. Much has been written about the dangers of “bucket list” retirement where you go from one cool trip to the next, trying to find meaning or excitement in life, and the research shows it does not generally satisfy. But that is not why I retired anyway.
My retirement was inspired by much prayer and soul-searching. I never really thought much about ways to entertain myself. My focus was how I could live a life of meaning and make a difference outside of a full time job and with more flexibility.
So I ended up creating “buckets” of how I envisioned spending my time. On September 13, 2014, with almost 3 months left before my retirement, I wrote a post titled “Three Buckets of Time.” The buckets I was focusing on filling were: 1)Intellectual Nourishment, 2)Volunteering and 3)Family Care. Now 20 months later, I find that these are still good ways to think about how I am spending my time, but the size of some buckets are different than what I thought.
The first bucket has probably been the least surprising. I have a couple of board roles that are highly engaging, intellectually stimulating and just what I needed transitioning out of full time work. There have been some surprises in the other two buckets. The volunteering has become a larger bucket than I thought mainly due to my college student mentoring. I did not expect that I would enjoy it as much as I have, be good at it, and be in as high demand as it has played out. And the family care bucket has been more extensive than I expected – thank goodness I retired if for no other reason than to be able to expand that bucket.
I definitely feel like I am making a difference, but not always in the ways I expected.
A Boomer In Transition
That I don’t know when I had time to work? Or, I sure missed a lot of life that happened when I was working?
This past week proved out both of these “sayings.”
I am not going to get into all the cabin clean-up work other than to say that I sure am glad I have a truck. Ok, Chevrolet can use me in truck commercials if they put me on retainer. And all the doubters who said “what do you need a truck for?” – hmmm – to haul stuff of course!
I am also not going to get into the hospitalization of my mother-in-law as that has already taken a lot of energy out of the family the past two weeks. Instead I am going to focus on two big events with our kids – our daughter getting a new job and our son an apartment!
Our daughter stayed at the same company, but moved into a different group, that will be a great opportunity for her to use her natural gifts. It was fun this week to be part of the process, and to pray and then cheer, when she got the offer!
Our son moved into an apartment near campus. He follows in the time-honored tradition I suppose to live 2 years on campus and 2 years off campus and this week marked the start of the off-campus part. Once again, my truck to the rescue oh you doubters, as we used it to haul his 7 foot couch to the apartment. And then at the apartment, we carried it up stairs to the 3rd floor. And then we carried a bunch more stuff. Then we went to get a bed. Again, the truck hauled it oh you doubters, and we carried that up to the 3rd floor. All of this would have been challenging to do while working full time.
It was so fun to be able to be around to participate in the process and to share the joy firsthand!
A Boomer In Transition