You no doubt have said the same thing when your life status changes dramatically.
When my wife and I were married more than 47 years ago, we giggled like children when we referred to each other as “my wife” and “my husband.” I quit smoking cold turkey nearly 39 years ago and I found myself referring to myself as a “former smoker”; now I’m merely a “non-smoker.”
These days my wife and I are retired. Neither of us works for a living. We spend a lot of time just, oh, relaxing and hanging out. I spend a good deal of my own time writing this blog, which is quite obvious to those who read High Plains Blogger.
However, I have not yet gotten over the giddiness at referring to myself as “retired.” It’s been a few years now. I officially joined the “retired” community when I turned 66 and started collecting my monthly Social Security benefit. I’m now 68 (with the 69th birthday looming just ahead), but I haven’t fallen into the retirement is second nature mode.
Someone might ask my wife and me about, oh, our schedule. We both chuckle and say, “Oh, we’re retired now!” I am still taking a bit of enjoyment out of saying it. We might get a response from a much-younger acquaintance that goes like this: “Maybe one day I’ll get to retire.” My response is usually the same: “Oh, don’t worry. When that day comes you’ll look back and say, ‘What the heck just happened? Where did the time go?'” It’s the same retort I offer to young parents of infants and toddlers. “Time just is flying by,” they tell me, to which I respond, “We ought to have this conversation 30 years from now.”
Perhaps one day I’ll cross that threshold when the word “retired” doesn’t give me such a kick. I don’t want it to arrive too soon.