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Life in Retirement: This time around


There used to be a commercial for my favourite brand of jeans, reminding people to take a softer approach to life ‘this time around’. When that pair of jeans was new and a whole host of experiences were waiting for you and them to experience together. ‘This time around, I’ll slow down and appreciate. I’ll be kinder to those around me, etc.’ For someone like me who reflects deeply on milestones, it spoke volumes. Now that I’m retired and can wear jeans every day, I’ll get to make these affirmations even more often!

Strangely, even opening a fresh jar of peanut butter can do it for me. Dipping your knife for the first time into that creamy blend with appreciation. When they used to bedazzle it with a fresh peanut in the middle for that first swipe, well, I was hooked! Coffee does it, too, pulling back the foil to unveil the fragrant sustenance underneath. Okay, I admit to being pretty easy to please.

But I think many of us share the joy and optimism that the beginning of a new holiday season can bring. Underneath all the phony glitz, there still seems to be a sense of goodwill for one another (here, I mean, in Central Alberta where we are so fortunate to live). This time around, I plan to really look at the effort people in our community make to decorate their homes for the season.

I plan to appreciate the bright and cheery sights and sounds around me, and to carry that in my heart. I plan to send a card to at least one person who is not likely to receive many, to volunteer at least one day at a Christmas-themed event to help others feel joy, and to make time to bake cookies. Every year I also plan to make time to actually drill a few little holes along the top of my porch railing to hang my outdoor lights, instead of duct taping them. Maybe this year I will do that!

What do you plan to do this time around? I understand why it’s not everyone’s favourite season, but I see a lot of people working to make the world a little bit brighter for these short weeks. Even if it’s literally by hoisting a single string of lights around a little tree in the front yard, it’s still something. And the season will be over before you know it – why not seek out something you might enjoy?!

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