What do I do post retirement ?

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Today it is exactly a year since I retired from corporate life. One of the oft repeated questions I am asked post my retirement from a professional career in March 2019 is “What do you do nowadays ?”. While it is a fair question to ask, my answer may bemuse you certainly. I seem to be more busy and occupied than during my corporate days.

Now to be specific on how my day is spent, let me share a typical day of mine nowadays post retirement. I get up up around 6 am and then after my morning ablutions, do yoga along with my spouse for about 45 minutes. This is followed by my morning coffee and then a nice nature walk in my campus along with my partner for half an hour.

Then I return home and after a sumptuous breakfast, I read three newspapers. This is a habit, which I pursued thanks to my daughter, who is a student of journalism. This habit is to get different perspectives on the same issue. So I read a business news paper and two newspapers – one generally supporting the government and one opposing it. This helps you get a balanced view of things happening around you. This takes about an hour.

Then I sip a cup of fresh brewed coffee and go to my study room to check my emails and also respond to any issues I am supposed to during the day. I also check my social media and linkedin account and post my responses. I tend to read a bit, when in mood to do so. This I do in a room facing green trees and the wind whistling past me along with birds singing their tunes.

I also meet young professionals in person or on call or video to answer career questions or any conflicts they are facing in their profession. This helps me to share my learnings with them.

It’s time for lunch and both me and my wife have home made lunch together and share our stories for the day. We also exchange information we may have got from different sources since morning which the other person may not have read or heard.

Then I check the news and other updates I get from friends and relatives on my social media accounts and also watch some videos etc before I soak into a healthy afternoon siesta for an hour. This refreshes me for the rest of the day and make me energetic again.

I now go around taking photos of my garden, birds, animals and plants and post some quizzes on social media to share my limited knowledge or to seek answers about things I do not know from my friends and relatives. Some days I skip the afternoon siesta if I have some interesting things to do.

I may also go out to the city for some shopping or meeting partners for my professional engagements. This helps me to be in touch with happenings in the professional world in which I spent the last four decades.

Now it is time to give back to society in some way. So I am busy with my residents welfare association doing some volunteering to improve our quality of life. Further to save water and power in our campus, we are also experimenting with some new techniques.

Nowadays, I have the time to visit friends and relatives in my city and other places and attend all family and social events. I also call on all elders and enquire about their health and well being. Spending time with my life long partner and helping her in her daily chores helps her relax and also gives me joy.

Then it is time to share my limited knowledge. So I am tutoring school kids of our neighbourhood on English, maths and science subjects. They are children of employees working in our campus and I love the sparkle in their eyes, when they speak to me in English. It is indeed a gratifying engagement.

Then my evening coffee and it is time for some sporting action on TV. It could be cricket, tennis, badminton, hockey or any other sport where India is participating. It gives me joy to see Indian sportspersons excelling around the world nowadays. On some days, I am watching a play or some music or dance programme to quench my interests in arts and culture.

I then go for a stroll again for another 30 minutes in the evening to relax and listen to nature at night. This also helps us share our insights during the day and plan for the next day.

Then dinner time followed by some and news and analysis on tv if it is of interest to me. I generally avoid tv except for sports nowadays. Then I also like to see news on cars and bikes from around the world and business updates.

Now it is time for bed and we do pranayama again together and thank God for bestowing us with everything in life and pray for the wellness and happiness of mankind before we have a good night sleep.

Now , you may wonder as to where I have the time to waste even post retirement. I should add that on days I travel out of station, I am driving my car for hundreds of kilometres a day and enjoying nature and environment around me as in the photo above at Hampi.

Is it time for you to retire and join me in this joyful life ?

PS: This blog was written of a typical day before the Covid crisis hit us.

S Ramesh Shankar

10th August 2019

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