Friday, November 24, 2006

Knitting and Retirement

My parents are contemplating retiring with in the next year. That is such a scary thing – my parents are getting old. They are in very good health, they drive, get around just fine, but it is sobering to know that they are getting old. My role as daughter is going to be changing.

Part of my current daughter-role is Reality. This summer I gingerly, because I never know what kind of reaction I am going to get at any given moment, asked my mother, what she had planned for retirement.

Oh I don’t know. I would like to learn how to knit.

This of course both excited me and scared me. Knitting is a great hobby, she must see how much I like it, her mother and sister were big knitters years ago, she lives in a cold climate so knitted wool stuff will come in handy, she has 6 grandchildren, and me, to make things for.

And then I though, how many scarves and sweaters will she be knitting with all of this free time? Egad.

What else do you have planned? What have you always wanted to do but couldn’t because of time, kids, whatever?

Oh, I don’t know. I am happy here.

I stressed the need for some kind of plan to fill the days and left it at that. The tension in the room was rising which was my cue to change the subject.

Luckily my father’s doctor frowned on the idea of retirement when he had his last appointment. She explained to my father that he needs the daily mental and physical stimulation to keep young. I was glad that a neutral and trusted third-party spoke up because they will listen to her. And now my mother is bringing up the topic which means she is thinking about it seriously.

So this Christmas I am going to give them a few books about how to retire. Surprisingly there are a lot of them! I can understand their lack of creativity. Their generation (they are the Veterans generation among demographers) so they worked to provide for their families, that was their identity, and they enjoy it. When we talked this summer about work and retirement they told me they enjoy getting up everyday and going to work. I am the opposite. I like my job, but I don’t look forward everyday to going to work. I can’t wait to retire!!

They really don’t have activities they do regularly for fun. Hobbies are so important! So hopefully they can develop some things they want to do for what the French all the third chapter. (Isn’t that a great expression?)

And I am going to start collecting patterns for sweaters I would love to make but know I will never have the time.

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