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About the Author:
Sitharaam Jayakumar passed out of IITBHU as a Metallurgical engineer in the year 1988. After graduation, he embarked on a career in Information Technology. He retired as a Lead Software Engineer in the year 2019. He has taken up writing in earnest since then. He writes articles on gender equality, politics, fiction, flash fiction and several other areas. He is the author of four books in all. He has contributed to several anthologies. He is a published poet. He can be reached via the contact form on his blog .
The Quiet Joys of Everyday Life in Retirement
I retired in 2019 after spending nearly thirty years as an IT professional. Now I live in a quiet suburb of Kochi by the name of Kakkanad. In this post, I will discuss some of my post-retirement activities and how they have filled my life with happiness and also added a sense of fulfilment.
The first major activity of the morning that I have begun after retirement is my leisurely morning walk of thirty minutes in the nearby collectorate grounds. It is a medium-sized ground and a number of people can be found walking there in the morning. Usually, the early morning breeze caresses my cheeks as I walk. Being a writer and a bit of a poet, my mind conjures up poems as I walk. There is nothing like a mild morning breeze to stimulate the creative juices. I have come up with some of my best poems during this walk. It fills a writer with a sense of joy and happiness to do something he loves. Compared to the rush of the morning hours before retirement this is simply heavenly. The combination of mental and physical exercise also goes a long way in putting me into the right frame of mind to face the rest of the day.
Then comes the time to read the newspaper have a leisurely cup of coffee and find out all about how the world has been faring. I prefer to read the paper rather than watch the TV. I have breakfast with my wife after both of us have read the paper. These mornings are the best part of my day. Just compare this to a morning when you struggle to get ready for the office and drive in the rush hour traffic to arrive on time. After this, the clients make a wry face and tell you this is wrong and that is wrong. Retired life definitely has its charm. The leisurely pace at which one leads life has its benefits too.
After having lunch with my wife, I usually spend the afternoon napping for an hour. Napping in the afternoon was unthinkable during pre-retirement days except on weekends. I don’t get steady sleep, but the nap energises me enough to spend around two hours writing. I have already written three books and I am working on my fourth. I hardly had time to write before retirement. Nowadays this is my primary activity and I am totally in love with this alternate career I have stumbled upon.
By around 3.30 PM my daughter is back from school, and I have my cup of evening tea with her. Her incessant chatter is music to my ears. This is another thing I could never do before retirement. After tea, my daughter gets ready for her Violin lessons. Her Violin teacher arrives promptly at 4.30 PM and spends an hour teaching her. By now my daughter is a competent violinist in her own right.
The reason I am mentioning this is because it gives me immense joy to hear my daughter play the Violin. It has always been said that listening to pleasant music calms the nerves. And the one hour I spend listening to my daughter playing classical music acts as a soothing balm. I hardly used to get to spend time with my daughter during my office-going days.
Earlier the same teacher used to teach me keyboard and I did learn for a year. But once writing took precedence over other things, it dominated my time totally. I spend the evenings in the common area of our apartment meeting neighbours and chatting with them.
After I come back, my wife and I spend an hour or two listening to music on YouTube. Sometimes we watch a movie or a web series on OTT. Afterwards, we have dinner together. I simply love this routine and have taken to post-retirement life quite well.
I contrast my post-retirement day with what a regular day used to be like before I retired, and ask myself the all-important question: am I happy? My answer to that is by and large yes. Of course, there are times when I do miss the hustle and bustle of my life before 2019. Yes, sometimes I do miss the thrill of completing a project just on time. But all said and done I am more than happy with the life I am leading now. I like the slow, leisurely pace of life. I don’t have to hurry up to complete anything. I like my alternate career as a writer. I am happy I can spend more time with my daughter and wife. I love chatting up old friends on the phone. Yes, the joys of everyday life post-retirement have more than made up for the lack of thrills and satisfaction a busy day in the office can provide.
So, what I would like to tell my fellow retirees is, yes, retired life can be great fun. It is just a question of how we adapt to it. We simply have to take on new activities that keep us mentally happy and physically fit. If we manage to do that we can lead a very happy and joyful retired life.
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