A friend asked me tonight, after she and I had battled it out over tennis for about 90 minutes, whether I was getting tired out yet from all of our traveling. Coincidentally, I'd just spent the morning planning out three more trips, after reviewing our 2013 calendar and spotting a few months where we'd be home more than we'd be away. As a result, I was able to answer her with complete conviction that no, I was absolutely not getting tired. In fact, the more we are on the go, the more exciting life is becoming, and if anything, we're actually trying to pick up the pace even more going forward.
After spending the first year or so of early retirement discovering my passions (travel, dance, running, hiking, biking, reading, learning, photography, piano, live theater, live music, yoga, tennis, vegetarianism, RV'ing, blogging, cooking, Spanish) and then waiting another few months for my husband to discover his (my list, minus blogging, photography, cooking, running and tennis, and with the addition instead of politics, classical music, backpacking, meditation and service work), then spending the necessary time to find avenues where we could enjoy these activities within the realities of our budget, our lives are incredibly full, and very, very satisfying.
I say all this, not to simply sound like we have it made in the shade, but rather, to share that a rich and satisfying life is really just the sum of those things that make you feel excited, stimulated, satisfied or some other positive emotion, and that you make an effort to do on a very regular basis.
Today my husband and I met at our local university to attend a discussion on the State of the Economy being presented by a member of the San Francisco branch of the Federal Reserve. As we waited for the lecture to begin, we were excitedly comparing notes about our various mornings (I'd gone to yoga, then a book club meeting, he'd gone to a financial discussion class, then a presentation on the outcome of the recent elections) when someone tapped us from behind and asked if we were newlyweds. We laughed and said, no, we'd been married over 30 years, but we were each other's best friend, and never seemed to run out of things to talk about.
What a wonderful mistake to have had made! Particularly because prior to our recent early retirements we were generally too exhausted at the end of each day to do much more than flip on the TV and zone out. Now the TV generally stays off untill late into the evening, if it even comes on at all, as we increasingly spend our time on other more satisfying activities.
I'm writing this blog at 12:30 AM as a matter of fact, because I'm too wired from my first ever tennis set win tonight over my long time partner, to settle down and go to sleep.
So I'll sleep in and run a little later than normal tomorrow morning. But I will run . . . because passivity simply isn't an option for us - we know where it leads, and it isn't to anyplace good.