Thoughts on Retirement

When I tell people I’m retiring the end of this year, the most common reaction has been “what will you DO”?  And no wonder.  The word itself sounds dreadful.  Re-tire.  Become tired again?  Here’s a dictionary definition: to withdraw from office, business or active life, usually because of age.  Oh dear.

I recall reading Erik Erikson’s book “Childhood and Society” in college.  He describes the eight stages of psychosocial personality development.  As I remembered it, I would be entering the ‘generativity versus stagnation’ stage,  during which energies  focus on future generations and  contributions to the world.  My memory check,  via the internet, sure burst THAT bubble.  Instead, I learned that I am rapidly approaching the ‘ego integrity versus despair’ stage, which extends from age 65 to death.  How encouraging.  And it gets even better.  During this stage all you do is look back on your life,  and are either happy with what you have accomplished, or are cranky and bitter.  Hmmm, ol’ Erik lived to be 92.  I wonder if HE spent 27 years sitting around contemplating the prior 65?  Darn, guess Erik is not going to help me define retirement more positively.

I think I need a new word.  There are so many other ‘re’ words that I like better:  reinvent, reconnect, renew, recharge, rejoice.

So maybe that’s what I’ll be doing:  I’ll be reinventing myself, while I reconnect with important people in my life, recharge my batteries, renew interests that were neglected because of lack of time.  Best of all, I plan on rejoicing in my new-found freedom!

Venice

Karen, Diane, Victoria, Kathleen, Jim and I all opted for the additional two day post trip in Venice.  What a perfect ending for a perfect trip!

Here are Beth and Victoria living large in the back of our water taxi, as we make our way to the Hotel Giorgione.

Meanwhile,  I’m up front, keeping my eyes on the back of our driver, who seems to be making quite a few waves.  He could teach the NYC cabbies a thing or two…

The Venetians sure know how to live.  The traffic doesn’t stress THIS guy out!  I will confess, though, I’m glad he wasn’t driving OUR taxi.  Something about steering with his foot just didn’t feel reassuring.

Quick turn down a side canal and we’re almost there.  Hope Victoria and Beth duck before we get to that low bridge.

Are you ready for some Venice sights?  Here goes:

San Marco as seen from a vaporetto

San Marco seen from the ground

Okay, so I’ve done land and sea.  How about air?  Well, this is about as close as I could get to an aerial view.

That’s all for today’s post.  More Venice shots tomorrow.