One of the dangers of retirement I've been told, is losing one's purpose in life and just stagnating or marking time. I can see how it could be a problem. When one isn't required by one's job to rise at a certain time and jump right into the day, it is tempting to sleep in, lazily make one's way through the morning routine only to discover that it's nine or ten o'clock and nothing has been accomplished. Sunday night was a late night. Our guests were delayed, so instead of arriving at 9 pm as expected, it was nearly 1 am when they finally rolled in. Another 45 minutes before they settled in for the night made for a short night's sleep, since they had to be at the school by 8 am the next morning. By the time their evening concert was over and all their equipment packed up, it was nearly midnight before they got in, with a 5 am departure time scheduled for the next morning. Needless to say, two days of such a schedule took its toll. But we slept in for the next couple days, and now it's time to get back on track. I have too many things I want to accomplish to lay around in bed or lounging in front of the TV.
This afternoon, Harry and I drove to Fredonia for band rehearsal. We are both in the New Horizons Jazz Band, he playing trumpet, and me struggling to keep up on the electric bass. After rehearsal, Harry heads to concert band rehearsal while I walk upstairs to my bass lesson with Vincent, a student who earns a few extra bucks tutoring me. After the lesson was over, I got to thinking about what I had just done. Here I am at 65, working to learn a new skill so I can play jazz bass for the band. No one is forcing me to do this; it's something I'm eager to learn. On top of that, I am working on my Spanish. No lessons here, just working through my bilingual New Testament, trying to learn new vocabulary so the next time I go to Cuba, I'll be better equipped to talk with my friends there. I am thankful that my health and situation in life is such that the challenges of learning an instrument and language are stimulating and exciting to me. I've seen what happens when people lose their joy for living through grief or sickness, and it's a place I don't want to go if I can avoid it. I am grateful to be given the time to study and practice and learn, and the physical, mental, and spiritual wherewithal to do so. It's almost hard to believe how richly blessed I am.