Positivity, optimism and a coat of paint
The bloke at the paint shop is retiring and it is with heavy heart that I bid him farewell.
It’s been a good 12 years since he first sold me a tub of his finest and there have been many litres of it since. Paint for the roof, house and fence – acrylic, enamel . . . you name it, I’ve bought it.
Not to mention the turps, pigmented sealers, brushes, rollers, sand paper and masking tape – miles and miles of it.
He’s been there throughout – unbelievably enthusiastic and allknowing; on hand to advise, guide and encourage on the sometimes painful road to home renovation. I can’t believe he’s going. ‘‘You were born for this role,’’ I say. ‘‘What will you do next?’’
He smiles and hits me with a carefully constructed plan that is indeed inspiring.
Tom, unlike many older codgers I’ve met on the cusp of retirement, has no desire to put his feet up.
He’s made a bit of cash over the last 40 years and wants to put some of it to good use helping others less fortunate than himself.
The 65-year-old reckons he’s got plenty of time to do his bit for humanity and plans to be around for at least another 20 years.
‘‘We live in an age of modern, medicine,’’ he says.
‘‘All the statistics tell me I’ll live longer than my father and his dad before him.’’
His optimism is infectious and I can’t help but feel equally enthused as he outlines his humanitarian hopes and aspirations.
It’s a far cry from another guy I know.
He ran out of things to do after his first six months off the payroll and quickly turned into a surly and cantankerous version of his former self – scowling at the world as soon as he opened his eyes in the morning and filling his days finding fault in others.
How I hope I don’t fall into that trap when my time comes. And it will. Nobody has an infinite career path ahead of them and all of us will have a big adjustment to make once we reach the final stage of it – unless fate, and a premature exit from life, comes first.
The big question will be ‘‘what next?’’
And procrastination will be the undoing of anyone who fails to seek an answer.
Which brings me back to my old mate the paint merchant and our conversation one humid Saturday afternoon.
He’s got me thinking and I wish him well as I exit his shop for what could be the last time under his watch. ‘‘Good luck,’’ I say. ‘‘Have fun.’’ He will, I’m sure, though he’s first to admit there’s one little thing to get out of the way first.
Yes, he’s got to paint his house. He’s spent the last 40 years telling people how to get their own homes into top shape while neglecting his own.
But, not surprisingly, he’s looking forward to ripping into that task too.
Ever thought about what you might do after you retire? Not everyone is interested in a quiet life.