Recently, after having finished another rather long day, I began to reflect on the events which had taken place during my ‘day’s work’. They had been considerable. Up at 5:30, long before the tropical birds had begun their joyful paean to the dawn. A brisk couple of kilometers walk to keep the system in proper running order. Was at my desk by 7:30, and with no commuter hassle since I ‘work’ at home. That night I could still be found at my desk nearing midnight. A long ‘work day’ by anyone’s standards. And paradoxical as it may sound, I am retired. Now my personal definition of retirement is ‘that marvelous time in a person’s life when you have the opportunity to do exactly what you want’.
Must admit that I have always had trouble with the words ‘work’ and ‘play’. For many they are opposite poles on the spectrum, yin and yang, night and day. I have managed to play all of my life. In the past when I spent a day of teaching at the university I was as joyfully happy as a small child playing in a sandbox. The only difference now is that my schedule has a bit more flexibility. Nice to have that extra elasticity of time. Enjoyable to have lunch at noon or perhaps three in the afternoon. Important to spend an hour, of my choice, in a wonderfully relaxing nap. Followed by some reading. And when I am ready for a change of pace from work my desk, usually writing or fractal design, I switch gears and spent a couple of hours playing/working in the garden. And contrary to much current opinion there is nothing wrong with physical exertion outside of a gym. Why spent time in the artificial confines of place of exercise when I can accomplish the same physical feats and reap the benefits in the open and abundant beauty of nature? And music is also one of my major daily activities. Not music as a background sound, but actively listening and absorbing. Letting each note and musical phrase become a part of my being. Like my father before me, Mozart and many other composers, have become close and cherished friends. From the classics to Chamras Saewataporn and his lovely flowing Thai melodies, music is as necessary as breathing.
I guess the knowledge that I am consciously choosing what I want to do at any particular time is what seems to make the difference. And having fun appears to be the ultimate key to a wonderful, satisfying life.