I am a lucky guy. Three years ago I retired from a job pushing out vegetables which I had done for over 30 years. Don’t get me wrong, I liked my job. It was physical, not mental, the way I like it. It afforded me an opportunity to meet and talk to strangers and stay in OK shape because of the heavy lifting and endless walking. However, it did take a real toll. After all this time getting up at 3 or 4 in the morning it was starting to hurt and I was just tired. Thank goodness I had a union job that put away money for my “golden years”.
This job allowed me to have my afternoons free so that I could work on my various projects: my own music, my web sites, my radio shows and all the things I do.
My favorite part of all this good luck is this. I leisurely get up at 7:30 or 8 am and with my own kids ( and my wife’s) long gone with their own lives and families there is very little happening in our house. My wife Robin might already be gone or quietly reading. There is no noise or stress to speak of.
So, I make my coffee, and begin my day…in my recliner chair. I put on some music but not just any music, this is music that has no melody, no rhythm and at the lowest possible volume. Almost as if it is not there. This is not new age candy fluff but mainly experimental ambient music by musicians such as Mathias Grasnow, Mark Wastell, Tomas Koner, Oophoi and others.
It is just about perfect. The cat on my lap, the warm coffee heating my hands. I tend to fall into some kind of hypnagogic state between waking and sleep which I absolutely love. I usually sit there with the sun coming out as I gaze at times through our back window into our suburban yard with the trees swaying and the neighborhood not yet active. I’ll sit there for half and hour or even longer some days. It is a little piece of heaven for me.
I realize how lucky I am and I am quite thankful. Many, or even most, people will rarely get this kind of luxury that I have carved out for myself. No people grouching at me first thing in the morning, no waiting in a traffic jam to get to a busy and stressful job, nothing to keep me from staying calm and collected. And yet, I have periods of great stress.
I lay awake at night worrying about ridiculous things. I fret over the smallest problems and allow them to create tension. The computer, the bills, my health, the kids and grandkids, the car. So, it looks like I have only removed a layer or two of the things that were aging and dragging me down.
Years ago I practiced meditation and am thinking I should get back to it. It helped me at the time get through some difficult personal moments of my first marriage and health issues. Maybe I should go back to the gym and kick up my exercise program like I did when I first retired. Perhaps I should travel and leave my cares behind while I enjoy the sights of some place else. Maybe donate my time to a charity that feeds and helps the homeless and destitute.
But no. For now, I will just sit in my chair and think about nothing for now with the sun making my toes glow, with the cat purring, with the coffee steaming in my hands and with the sound of the drone off in the distance but close in my head.