“Now that I have the time” is a beautiful phrase. It means that, besides being retired, I have the time to do things I couldn’t (or wouldn’t) do when I was working. For instance, there are many words and phrases I tossed off all the time, and I realize now that I didn’t always know what precisely what they meant.
So now I have the time to look them up. I also have the time to check the spelling of some words. For years, I scornfully corrected people who said, ‘espresso,’ because I KNEW it was pronounced ‘expresso.’ And I usually added a supercilious eye-roll.
Well, guess what—they were right all along and I was not. It IS ‘espresso.’ How I wish I could track down every person I corrected and apologize—and buy them an espresso.
Now I have the time to take the time to look things up, learn new things, and step out of my old hurry-hurry habit. Some of the words I thought I understood (but didn’t take the time to look up) are these:
Machiavellian: of or relating to Machiavelli or Machiavellianism; suggesting the principles of conduct laid down by Machiavelli; specifically: marked by cunning, duplicity, or bad faith.
- Entropy: a measure of the capacity of a system to undergo spontaneous change, or a measure of the randomness, disorder, or chaos in a system.
- Byzantine: of, or pertaining to, or characteristic of Byzantium, its inhabitants, or their culture. Of or designating the ornate, intricate style of architecture developed from the 5th century A. D. in Byzantium. Highly complex: ‘a Byzantine plot.’
- Arcanum: mysterious or specialized knowledge, language, or information accessible or possessed only by the initiate —usually used in plural, or elixir.
- Solipsism: a theory in philosophy that your own existence is the only thing that is real or that can be known.
- Pyrrhic victory: a victory in which the victor’s losses are as great as those of the defeated. Also called Cadmean victory. Named after Pyrrhus, who defeated the Romans at Asculum in 279 BC but suffered heavy losses.
…and the list goes on.
I am a fast reader, and I miss a lot because of it. Now that I have time, I can slow down and fully enjoy what I am reading. That has been the hardest thing of all; I have a lifetime habit of gulping down pages, racing until the end.
This was usually because I had other things to do, other obligations to attend to, so reading (my favorite pastime) took a back seat. I am still training myself to S-L-O-W down. I’m still working on that one.
There is also time to finally learn how to be a decent system administrator of my own computer. For years I worked in businesses where the resident tech guy handled everyone’s computer. No one but that guy was supposed to monkey with your computer, so at the time I thought, ‘good deal–one less thing for me to do!’
However, it made me become extremely stupid with my own home computer; I knew nothing about anything more than blogging, using MS Office, doing work from home, emailing, and using the Internet.
Case in point: the computer I am currently using was purchased in 2011, and sadly, a computer lifespan isn’t much more than 5-6 years. So of course things are getting slow, backups sometimes don’t work, and I can no longer get my computer to “see” my camera, and so on.
I do have a great tech guy to consult, and he has frequently taken care of my computer issues. While looking for a new computer, I have been doing the ‘don’t pay too much but pay enough for a decent system’ dance.
Can you believe it—I honestly did not realize that all the computer-y stuff is in the desktop tower. I don’t know where else I thought it would be, but there you are—my excuse is that I’m half *Luddite on my mother’s side.
Then there is/was the housekeeping stuff, the cooking stuff, the planning stuff, etc. There is always something to do, tasks I should have done but didn’t (but still need to get done).
These days I gauge my energy and feelings first, then decide if I will take those on today, or simply wait until tomorrow. Because now, why rush? Finally there is time to take time.
As I have only been retired for a year, I am still new to this. But I can tell you that I really like it. Really. For the first time in decades I can say, ‘if it doesn’t get done today, it will get done tomorrow.’ And I can also say, ‘y’know what? I don’t feel like doing <insert tiresome chore here> today. I’m going to go to a movie!’
Life is good, especially so since I now have the time to really enjoy it.
*Luddite: 1. One who fears technology; or one of a group of early 19th century English workmen destroying laborsaving machinery as a protest; broadly : one who is opposed to especially technological change.