This coming June, I will have been retired for 5 years. How time flies! My grandmother warned me that the older you get, the faster the years go by, and although I couldn’t imagine that in my youth, impatient for those life goals: the new baby’s arrival, the mortgage paid off, the kids finally moving out, things like that – well, now, I understand. But I have another annoyance to report during my pandemic experience here in Quebec, Canada, where I’ve had shot #1 but where my countrymen and neighbours are still locked down. Heavily locked down at this moment of writing, in fact.
Before I retired, I had some very close work friends. Work spouses, one might even have called them. (I was an IT consultant, and most of my colleagues were men.) A small group of us even socialized with our spouses along (our real spouses), getting together for drinks, or dinners, even fun Christmas gift exchanges and sporting events. Not often, not every week, but at least every season, even monthly sometimes. A fun social life in a busy working world.
Then retirement. A nice work party, with cake, followed by drinks down the street, then a get-together with the spouses for dinner the following month. Then every season or so, the patio times, the Christmas dinners. The co-workers retired soon, too, all of us being of an age. Texting to keep in touch about grandkids, cottage invites, continual spouse-included dinners at least once in awhile, whenever one of us started the conversation. Talk of going on vacations together, maybe a cruise.
Then Pandemic. Texts continued. We tried to plan around restaurant open/close cycles, and rules, and then gave up trying. Texts now mentioned getting vaccine shots, first one, a caregiver to his mother, then others with hope of getting together soon. Soon became never.
I haven’t seen a close acquaintance, a friend, in a social setting for, well, a long time. And the older I get, the less motivated I feel to try. Time is flying, but I’m living slowly.
When the pandemic is over, after we’ve all had our second shots, after the world reopens, where will my former social life fit in? I have an elderly father and mother-in-law to care for now. I have a far-away military son and daughter-in-law to visit. Grandkids, here and coming soon. I have brothers in other far-away provinces that I haven’t seen for years that I’m reconsidering why that is? Time does fly. None of us is here forever. Time. There really is never enough. I hope I get to use some of that precious resource to see my old work friends again, soon.