I HAVEN’T worked one day for pay since Dec.19, 1999.*
It’s not rare that people, almost always men, drop dead not long after retirement due to having lost their life’s purpose. I did not suffer that issue.
I’ve never known what my life purpose is,** which simplifies things.
But it’s been almost 18 years now, the best 18 years of my life. Another world, another life, another wife, another language. I done good.
There’s something strange about living days, weeks, months and years without a job and you still have cash in your wallet. We have money due to Social Security (thanks, Uncle Sam), a small corporate pension (thanks, Hearst Corp.) and investments (thanks to wise me). Let’s hear it for capitalism!
Though I have no paying job, I do have work, almost daily. Why, just this morning, I swept the sidewalk and adjoining strip of street out front. I dumped the dirt, and it was all dirt, into a bucket, and I tossed it into the ravine.
This sort of thing does not provide life with meaning, but it does keep the sidewalk clean. That has societal value, I think.
* * * *
* A date as tattooed on my brain as is my birthday and my Air Force serial number.
** My fallback meaning-giver is Emily Dickinson whose quote elsewhere on this page does the trick for me. Were I a Christian or a Jew, which I am not, that would replace Emily Dickinson, one supposes.