Observing a hectic, lumbaginous, 12-hour work schedule for 26 elephantine years as an advertising professional — slogging my hippocampus out at client presentations and board meetings — I had planned to call it an evening by the time I hit half a century after building a retirement corpus to cover my aging back.
My plans were peppered by some grandiose commitments I made to myself: Of course, PJ will never retire! She’ll reinvent, reconfigure, reboot, and rewire.
Well, things went pretty much as planned. And now at 51, my first innings is over. I’ve officially retired.
Yipee, I’m finally free! The birds can go take a walk.
There’s a sprite in my steps and a Mirinda in my eyes. Unknown ‘vibgyored’ vistas and tantalizingly arcane avenues now beckon enticingly from every nook and corner of life – to be discovered… to be explored,…to be consumed.
Yo-man, I’m a free spirit! Free, to pursue all my auxiliary interests. Free, to fulfill all those unkept promises to myself.
Free, to sit and scratch my cerebrum and think as to what I should do with this freedom. It’s time to begin the second innings.
So where should I start? There’s a serpentine nostalgia-soaked bucket list. Should it be the guitar lessons that I strummed out of in just 4 weeks as a teenager?
Or perhaps the singing lessons that I quacked away from before I got even the word ‘melody’ right?
Maybe start relearning the French lessons that I abandoned in my semantophobic twenties?
Or read all those bestsellers that I thought paucity of time would allow me to watch only once a movie was made on them?
Well, what about the various scintillating software I’d wanted to learn?
Not to forget the Cookery Classes, the Stained Glass, Origami, Topiary and Art of Living workshops I’d wanted to attend.
And let’s not forget — an exhibition of my embroidered paintings! But first, maybe I should go about publishing a collection of my vocab’addiction pursuits which have consumed eight diaries over the last three decades.
And last but not least, go youtube over my untapped talent to mix RETRO music..a’la DJPJ !!
All this while, office was the Goliath of my priorities. Everything else seemed to pale in the aura of its stranglehold over my mental faculties.
My square-headed digital boyfriend consumed me to such an extent, that it became my husband’s biggest bête noire.
I started subconsciously hiding behind my busy schedule, conveniently brushing under the carpet, all other aspects of holistic living — happily convincing myself that a lack of time was to blame for my inability to pursue my ancillary interests.
Now like a bolt from the blue, the façade is gone! Time is staring at me in the face. Poking me in the ribs. Scratching my prefrontal cortex. Challenging me to utilize it constructively.
And here I am, getting all knotty in the head, and foggy in the mind – trying to choose from a plethora of scrumptious options.
The ‘delicious dilemma’ is enervating me. My impetuous disposition is only exacerbating the situation.
I’m vacillating from one tantalising option to another.
This indecisive conundrum is far more taxing and fatigue-inducing than my 12 hr work schedule ever was!