Today's progress report on how well I am meeting my retirement goals should come with a note:
"Donald is a well-intentioned lad with much potential. He has set reasonable, yet admirable, goals for his retirement. His failure to achieve many of them, though, shows a lack of discipline and in broad terms, he is just not trying hard enough."
Too hard on myself? I don't think so. As I reviewed the five goals I set for my retirement on August 18, I had to admit to myself that what seemed like good ideas back then remain just that now.
I suspect I really didn't have plans to do most of these things, but thought it would impress everyone if I said I was going to be a community-improving, kid-teaching poet with a love for new music and new knowledge.
Unfortunately, today's grades show me for the poker-playing, video-gaming watcher of reality TV that I really am:
These were the five bright ideas I came up with back then.
No 1: I will write a poem.
Advantage: They don't have to rhyme any more
Disadvantage: Does anyone read poems any more?
I am being generous with this grade since I haven't really written a poem. What I have done is written part of a novel, and in it I have re-written the silly poem I did about The Underpants Man. And before you say it, No, I do not think that is really writing a poem. And by the way, my father has completed several poems in that time so I can't blame the genes.
No 2: I will teach kids
Advantage: I know lots more now than when I was certified to be a teacher
Disadvantage: Do the kids care about any of it?
I have taught Lily how to cheat at cards and use the Wii, but we all know that wasn't what I was thinking about. Does mentoring a guy in his 30's count? No, I didn't think so, either.
No 3: I will learn something new that is totally unrelated to the career I am finishing
Advantage: Aging slows if the brain is active
Disadvantage: The brain slows as you age
I have studied how to repair our toaster. I just have not quite "learned" how to do it, but at least the effort saves me from an F. Can I count learning The Downward-Facing Dog? Yep, I know.
No 4: I will listen to new singers and bands and fall in love with some of them
Advantage: This is a bit of a cheat since I have already started doing it since I bought the iPod Disadvantage: Turning the iPod volume up enough to hear in my left ear is likely to render my right ear almost as deaf pretty soon
I have indeed starting to listen to new singers and bands. Some are new in the sense of young (Beth Rowley) and some are new in the sense that they are old, but I didn't listen to them before (Waylon Jennings). Listening to lots more music is probably the best side-effect of walking, and I didn't expect it at all. Please note, though, that this was perhaps the easiest goal I could have set for myself. Kind of like taking Conversational English for English-Speaking People.
No 5: I will get involved with a community association
Advantage: That is probably a good way to meet lots of other old farts
Disadvantage: That is probably a good way to meet lots of other old farts
Unless you are willing to count Full Tilt Poker as a community association, I am afraid I have not quite started in on this one. So that means that my two noble plans - teaching kids and working to make the community better - have been delayed so I can work out on the Wii, play online poker and try to fix the toaster. I must now repeat three times: It's OK, Don. You're not really selfish. It's OK, Don. You're not really selfish. It's OK, Don. You're not really selfish.