I’m a little surprised to discover there’s still more to come in retirement. I had expected to be done with change by now, but here’s what has happened. Four years ago I bought a house located mid-way between my children so that one plane ticket could take me wherever they lived. Then the moves began. I don’t have enough paranoia to think my proximity had anything to do with it, since job offers motivated each move. But still, the distances have changed.
I’ve been happy in retirement; this phase has been a lot of fun. Well, even the first phase had its pleasures, so another phase hasn’t been on my radar. On one level, my life is comfortable and fulfilling . . . but another part of me must be restless. Why else would I be turning everything upside down if I’m not in search of another way of being?
I’m still surprised by what phase three of retirement is turning out to be. Charitable work. In foreign countries. Soon.
Getting Rid of Stuff
One of my friends and I are combining households so that we leave we can lock the door on one house instead of two. One floor of the house for each of us should about take care of things. But it also means that each of us must give up half our stuff–at least that’s what it must look like from an external viewpoint.
Deep in the middle of all this stuff, however, I see bits of my life strewn about. Everything I’ve collected throughout the years has a memory attached. If I give away the object, will the memory remain? I’m not sure. Probably not. Does it matter? I think what will matter most to my children is that they will half as much stuff to get rid of when I’m gone. See what a big service I’m doing my inheritors?
If I survive the giving-away-of-the-stuff, my friend and I plan to take positions with charitable organizations around the world as long as our legs will take us to whatever destinations we’re sent. This is not a lofty, far-off plan. We leave in June for eighteen months in the Dominican Republic.
Taking the Pleasures of Retirement with Me
I’m not leaving the three pleasures of phase two behind, though. I intend to take them with me. First, I’m traveling with a friend; second, my children promise to come visit me; and third, I’ve searched the Internet for pipe organs in Santo Domingo and I think I’ve found one.
There may be other pipe organs, I don’t know. If you, Dear Reader, know of one, please get in touch. Making music on a pipe organ of any size will help my inner charitableness—which, as we all know, is essential to performing charitable work.