I returned home a little while ago from a walk in the Mall. Unless I have a conflict I try to go there every weekday morning. In these dog days of summer the heat and humidity keep me away from the park. If you walk the perimeter of the Mall, including all the nooks and crannies, it adds up to approximately 10,000 steps which is the daily recommended goal for non Olympic walkers like me. I must confess I usually don’t hit this goal. I start running out of gas after the third lap so most days I walk about 8,000 steps.
After a couple of laps around the Mall, I usually take a five minute break in the food court. The picture above is how the food court looks early in the morning. Most of the stores and restaurants are not open yet. I have been getting there early enough that the Cinnabon folks are still preparing the day’s cinnamon rolls. No, I have not yet succumbed to actually eating any of them. However, by the time I finish my walk Starbucks is open so I usually have an iced coffee before I leave the Mall.
I haven’t written much lately because I am currently living a very quiet and uncomplicated life. It is now possible to say I am happy being a retired person. This does not mean I am always happy and everything is now perfect in my life. I still have my moments of existential angst but they are fewer and further apart and there are longer periods of time when I am simply content. My early struggles with retirement taught me a lot. In the beginning I had a lot of separation anxiety over people and things. Now I am happy to simply spend most of my days alone. I don’t dislike people but I no longer feel the need for others to make me happy. Each day I make myself happy or I don’t. The day is what it is.
This coming weekend I plan a trip to the monastery for a gathering of friends and monks. It will include a meal and much conversation and will most likely be held at Thomas Merton’s hermitage. This is a special place for me and many others. I have not been there for quite a while. Even now while I think about it I am reminded of two personal, solitary retreats I made there. I was quite fortunate to be allowed such opportunities.
I will try to write more for those who care about me as a person or who simply enjoy what I write. Either way, be assured that I am fine. Now that I have settled into my retirement I cannot imagine living any other way.
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