For ten years we lived in the stereotypical retirement mecca called Boca Raton, Florida. the only problem was, we weren't retired. In fact, I wasn't even 30 years old when we moved there, so we were rather out of the median age range.
At the time we joked about retirement communities called Leisureville, Century Village, and Carefree Cove. (Yes, really.) When we went out to eat, we jostled with folks out for the plethora of early bird specials.
Once I wrote a roadshow for the kids in my church's youth group. One song sends a couple of shout outs to the senior population that all Boca residents are familiar with.
To tune of Oklahoma!
Quintessential city by the sea.
Lots of coral and teal
Oh, what a deal!
Isn’t there some place you’d rather be.
Where Mercedes swerve around on Glades.
You can find your niche
If you are rich
Every home here has at least three maids.
If you are a hundred and five
Come to Boca and we’ll let you drive.
Does the sign say…STOP!
Well speed up anyway
Because you’re not up north,
You are driving in Boca.
You’re in Boca…today!
But last week a woman only a few years older who I idolized as a child, posted on her Facebook wall that she had just gotten a senior discount at a local restaurant.
Not to be cliche, but where did the time go?
I'm only 47, so I'm not packing up to shuffle off to the mahjong table. With six kids spaced 16 years apart, we still have three non-adult children.But we are (only?) ten years off from having all our children grown. That's nothing compared to my peers and high school buddies. Many of them are already empty nesters. And although I actually dread having all the kids gone, I know it will happen and I'm determined to be ready to have a life just as jam-packed as it is now.
Today I read about a retirement community in Palm Beach Gardens called Devonshire. It's a sprawling estate on a PGA golf course. Add the convenience of local shopping, local entertainment, and gorgeous natural scenery, then throw in museums, theater, and music, and you have a perfect setting to get on the the next phrase in your life.
What do I mean by the “next phase”? Well let's just say I don't plan to relax. There are so many possibilities: charitable service, work on foundations, learning new skills.
My 82-year-old dad who came to live with us last year says, “You know what it means to be retired? It means being really tired of having nothing to do.”
No way, daddy. I plan to keep my to do list full to the brim until I pass out, exhausted, for the very last time.