This is my adorable dog, Rosie. Rosie is an Airedale Terrier and she's 12½ years old. Hanno has just clipped her for summer and she's come into the kitchen to see if there is a spare honey biscuit for an old girl. Hello to another Rosie, hello Rosetta!
I was talking to an acquaintance the other day about retirement. She asked me if Hanno and I had enough money for travelling, entertainment and "enjoying life", her words, not mine. The reason she asked was because she does have a lot of money but she's struggling to find a reason to get up every morning. Poor her. Imagine not having a reason to get out of bed.
I am catapulted out of bed every morning by the knowledge that there is a full and interesting day waiting for me. No matter how tired I have gone to bed the previous night, I always have this same enthusiasm to get up and live, really live, the next day. Living simply gives me that.
If I were to have given that woman a full and clear answer, instead of the short one I gave, I would have told her about my simple life, but I fear that some people only hear what they want to hear and I'm sure my words would have echoed somewhere in the recesses of her brain and soon been forgotten. You see, she and I have a major fundamental difference in how we view our lives. She believes that life's enjoyment is bought with dollars, and I know that is not true. She has been deceived into believing that joy is a commodity with a price tag, she believes retirees need a huge retirement payout to live well, she thinks that happiness is purchased.
As you all well know by now, I am a homemade gal. I make my own happiness. Joy ferments along with the ginger beer and sourdough right here in my home. We are happy people because we have have something to do, someone to love and something to look forward to. We truly live each day and we aren't reliant on others to deliver invitations to lunch or a shopping spree to help us enjoy ourselves.
It's a commonly held belief that when you retire you sit around and just soak up life's pleasures. But unless you're almost brain dead, or incredibly lazy, sitting around gets boring after a while. It's much better to have a purpose to each day and if that purpose changes constantly, that makes for an interesting life. Humans need interest, and what finer interest is creating a wholesome life for yourself. Of course there is room for travelling and entertaining, but they're very small portions of life's abundance and complexity.
Life should be made up of the elements of living like proving food for ourselves and maintaining a comfortable and warm home, as well as those things that make our existence meaningful like nurturing our families and maintaining valuable friendships and knowing, really knowing by experience, the joy in that. All else is flim flam.