Never hang up your boots..!
HE walked, rather jogged along with a smile on his face and a song on his lips. This was the second consecutive month I’d seen him in the park and curiosity got the better of me, “You seem to be enjoying retirement,” I said.
“Very much,” he said as he actually slowed down for me, “I’m enjoying retirement, because I haven’t stopped working!” We introduced ourselves to each other and I gathered speed to keep the pace of this seventy plus ‘young’man, “You know something Bob,” he said, “The secret of keeping young is to never hang up your boots!”
“But didn’t you ever dream of retirement years?” I panted, “Sitting by the sea, watching the waves, reading a book…” “And watching life slipping by?” he asked, “Oh yes I did, and I still do that every once in a while, but the greatest moments I have is in knowing that not only am I still useful to society but I am paid for what I do. Even at my age!”
There was no doubt youth was in his veins. He walked with a speed and agility that you saw in forty or thirty year olds. There was joy on his face, and like I said a smile on his lips and every once in a while he whistled happily. I walked with him as he spoke of politicians who grew even younger as they grew older, “Why?” he asked me. I shook my head. “Because they love their work! The same way we should love our ability to continue, and instead of the world thinking us old, they’ll look at us with respect. Meet Kishore over here, he works too, ask him why he works?” he said as he introduced me to another ‘young’ man with a headful of white hair.
“Because my son and family were struggling,” said Kishore simply, “So I took up a part time job, and now you should see the new respect the whole family has for me, as they enjoy my contribution to the home’s income!”
My new friend now walked faster, and looked at me, “I don’t work for the money,” he said, “But because boredom of retirement can kill a man or woman. When I work as a legal consultant, helping so many people to write wills and help with their property, I exercise my mind, and I know I am keeping Alzheimer’s and Dementia at bay!” he said with a twinkle in his eyes.
I was breathless and walked over to a bench and sat down. He and his friend Kishore were over twenty years older than me, but they were fitter than me. I heard my new friend shout to me, “Never hang up your boots Bob, never..!”