Friday, April 06, 2007

Irony

When I was a kid, I longed endlessly to be a grown up. To make my own decisions and to do what I wanted instead of always the bidding of others became an obsession. Since my parents were inclined to "raise me properly", I was forbidden to watch television during the work week (even in summer), and had to earn my own money to procure the things I wished for. I think both of those decisions made a big impact on who I am today. TV, I can pretty much take it or leave it now, though I do enjoy watching. And boy do I know the value of a dollar. By 15, I was gainfully employed while going to high school. In the summers, I worked two jobs, had a car at 15, my license on my 16th birthday, and moved out on my 18th. I'm chuckling at myself now, what was I in such a rush for?

The bulk of adult life is DOING THE BIDDING OF OTHERS. I could have read the signs. I could have noted my parents working full time, which is why I was stuck at school every day until 5 or 6 (supervised, of course), and I could have seen their various career pursuits and hobbies, each one following on the heels of another.

There was the pet goat we had, the tortoise, cat, dogs, and parrot. There was the boat we had, the medical school Dad enrolled in in the evenings, the real estate school Mom enrolled in in the evenings. The vacations, the nightly family dinners, the swimming lessons, piano lessons, my God they were busy. But no, I didn't notice any of that. I only noticed that they got to call all the shots. And I lusted after such power over one's own destiny.

And now here I am, with the said power over my own destiny, and I can't for the life of me think of anything I want to do, except retire. Ridiculous! I will never slow down. I'm what you might call antsy. I'm pretty sure Mom passed that gene down to me. But in retirement, I won't have to constantly do the bidding of others. Only my own. I see my mother, now retired, filled with joy with every moment. Getting to do whatever her heart desires (which strangely enough, is deep sea fishing) and living life to the max. Sigh. Can't wait til I get there.

17 comments:

Lemuel said...

Get in line and take a number! I was here first!

LOL!

Ed said...

I heard a comedian a few years ago say that we have it backwards. We should have our retirment years while we are young and then go to work when we get old. Not a bad idea, huh?

BriteYellowGun said...

My mom sounds like your mom. She's retired, in her early 70's and living life to it's fullest...dance classes, exercise classes, she even took some college classes just for the heck of it. Sadly, I don't see myself ever retiring. I will never have enough money to live on at this point. Someone will discover my rotting corpse at my desk, bony hand remains poised over the keyboard, ever-present cup of coffee at my side...and they will look and say, "hmmmph...I wonder when that happened?"

Patricia said...

you said, "I'm chuckling at myself now, what was I in such a rush for?" and i can't help but wonder if you'll feel the same way 20ish years from now when you retire.

i dunno. i guess the older i get, the more i think that it really is about finding ways to be happy or content in the moment, whatever that moment might hold. that sounds so preachy, sorry, it isn't meant that way.

Rebekah said...

Donuts.

For me, growing up meant I could buy and eat those little powdered sugar donuts anytime I wanted.

Heh... we are a product of our childhood.

em said...

You say that, but you call alot of your shots now. And you know how to find the value of each moment. I suspect the snow is getting to you.

Chunks said...

Why wait to live your life to the max? Do it now, you never know if you will make it to retirement or what those years will hold.

Hub's parents are retired now and have money to burn but are both in such poor health that they cannot do the things they always dreamed of.

Life is for living now. (I should heed my own advice!)

GayProf said...

Like Rebekah, my goals were a bit more modest for adulthood.

Growing up for me meant that I could control the thermostat. Seriously, my parents never ran the air conditioner -- and we lived in a desert.

David said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again, via Mr. G.B. Shaw: Youth is wasted on the young.

For me, being adult meant having sex and I couldn't wait! Of course, I ended up waiting until I was 26, but that's a whole 'nother story.

bardelf said...

Right on, David. I, too, was thinking of Shaw's quote, "youth is wasted on the young".

I'm glad to be self-employed.

Snooze said...

Brilliant post.

Daniel, the Guy in the Desert said...

"The bulk of adult life is DOING THE BIDDING OF OTHERS"
Silly, that's why they spend so much time drilling it into us as kids.
Actually the ability to think as an individual probably only developed 3 to 4 thousand years ago. We're stil getting that one down.

abnitude said...

great pot and the antsiness comes hrough loud and clear. i used to want to rush to retirement so i didnt have the serve the public anymore but now that i am aproaching 50, and know i still have a long way to retirement, i want to take it one day at a time and not rush my life away. time does go by so fast and i know it wont slow down once the retirement years set in.

Steven said...

Sorry, you lost me at "pet goat."

erwin1 said...

yeah .. pet goat.. and your mom deep sea fishing.... baffling

Cooper said...

When I was a kid I wanted to be grown up so I could stay up as late as I wanted. How I hated being told to go to bed ... especially on those golden summer evenings.

dawn said...

Remember when you were a kid and all the adults said to enjoy it, cause it's the best time. And you just said, yeeeeeaaaaaahhhh right.

I think there are other "best times", but damn if I don't wish I still had the whole free-room-and-board thing.

And retirement is when you get to find out that maybe you like deep sea fishing. It's freedom. It sounds fun as hell.