I have a very well-meaning friend, also a cyclist, also a retired teacher, also a woman, who keeps telling me that I will be bored after I retire.
(I realize I run the risk of boring YOU by writing about my impending retirement...again.)
I've had people ask me if I think I'll be bored, and I've had other people pose the question of "What will you DO?" (Isn't that kind of insulting? The assumption that outside of teaching teenagers, I have no existence?)
Okay, now without the parentheses. Because since I typed that parenthetical statement above, I've decided it isn't so parenthetical.
I know they don't mean to, but aren't people assuming that outside of my job, I don't have any other talents? interests? hobbies? purpose? reason for living?
My friend, the retired teacher, tends to state things emphatically, with very little room for interpretation or argument.
"You'll get bored," she says repeatedly, "especially after the first year."
First of all, we weren't ALLOWED to be bored in our family. The worst thing you could BE was bored. If the word ever passed our lips, we were GIVEN something to do, and you better believe it wasn't something we would have chosen. If we found boredom creeping in, the best thing we could do was hide our faces in a book and act like we were enthralled. Reading was never frowned upon (except when it was time to do the dishes **ahem ahem**), but sloth and boredom were cardinal sins.
In addition to escaping into a good book, I also loved to write from an early age. (Most of it I later destroyed, unfortunately.) I played with my one Barbie doll. I listened to records on my prized record player. (Remember those?) I remember in one house where we lived, there was a tall pine tree at the corner of the yard. With some effort I could reach the lowest branch, and from there it was easy to climb to the top. I devised a way to get some of my prized possessions to the top of the tree, since I obviously needed both hands for climbing. I got an old Easter basket and a lot of yarn. I put my coloring book, a book to read, possibly my Barbie, and whatever else interested me on any given day in the basket, and I held one end of the yarn in my mouth while I climbed to the top of the tree. Once I was settled on my favorite limb, I hauled the basket up and whiled away the hours. I have it in my mind that I spend entire days up in the tree, although it may have been a much shorter span of time.
I was also an outdoors kind of girl, which is probably not surprising. I was drawn to water and would spend hours wading in a creek or staring at the moving water of a river. (Those activities must have predated my complete and total fear of snakes.) I would wander through the woods aimlessly, which probably IS surprising, considering I am directionally challenged. It's a wonder I ever found my way home.
I can always find something to do. In fact, my problem typically is running out of hours in the day before I've done everything I want to do. Even on a day like yesterday, when I was still in my pajamas at 3:00 in the afternoon, I wasn't bored. I had plenty to occupy my hands. And my mind.
I won't say my friend is dead wrong, since she has been through the retirement thing and I haven't. But she doesn't read (a lot), she doesn't crochet or quilt or do other crafty things, she's not into a sport enough that she will spend countless hours watching old videos of it over and over. (That was just a hypothetical situation, mind you.) She says if it weren't for cycling, she would be bored out of her mind. She keeps suggesting I get at least a part-time job to keep me busy after I retire.
Since I don't have a crystal ball, I can't be 100% certain she isn't right. But I do know enough about myself to know that if she's right and I DO experience a teensy bit of boredom after I retire...
...I'll never admit it.