It is a daily race and you fall into bed at the end of the day, hoping your mind will slow down enough so that you can sleep.
Then, almost suddenly, but not without warning (children entering college, getting married, having their own little ones) you realize that the race is slowing way down. You have time to look to each side and not always ahead. You are going slow enough that you now no longer worry about tripping or mis-reading signs and taking the wrong side road. As a matter of fact, a side road is most appealing.
If you have good health and your finances are secure your side roads are more interesting and more available. But even if life didn't end up like a bushel of sweet peaches, there are still different opportunities and angles that you can think about.
I watched a movie starring one of my favorite actors, Judi Dench, called Ladies in Lavender last night. A scene in which Dench is lost in thought about missed opportunities in her life and future choices she must make remains in my thoughts. Dench is lying casually on her bed with daylight crossing her face showing how lost in thought she is. The scene hangs in my memory because the impression given was that she had been lying there thinking for a long time. I realized that I have not had an opportunity to be lost in thought for quite a while.
I remember days as a young child daydreaming for hours. Do children have time to do that today? Are their days so programmed with activities or so filled with technological temptations that they fail to exercise their thinking muscles and in turn their imagination growth? Are we becoming a nation of doers and not thinkers?
I guess this is why activities such as camping and canoeing appeal to my soul. There is usually time for thought. Walking is another thought-provoking activity I enjoy.
I have decided that getting a little more peace in my life for thought and helping others realize how important thought is will be a new goal in retirement. The next time someone asks me what I will do when I retire, I will answer "Think more."