I Love You, Grandpa
A common comment by retired people is that “I’m busier now than I was when working full time.” Part of this experience might be that with aging comes less energy, hence, it takes longer to do things. An old buddy of mine once said, “A field I used to plow before breakfast now takes me half a day.” Of course, I don’t identify with that at all. (snark, snark)
Another reason for busyness is the plethora of commitments retired people make. Now that one no longer has to check in for the nine-to-five, a whole world of opportunities opens up for which one previously did not have time. Hobbies, community/church volunteer efforts, home maintenance, social engagements, on and on. Each activity might be good in and of themselves, but quite often they combine to create a sense of overload.
In many cases, there’s a prime factor in this activity equation: grandchildren. What a joy! What a privilege! How time-consuming! But, assuming relationships are what they should be, time spent chasing grandkids all over creation is some of the most valuable output senior citizens can expend. And it’s not just because you can “give ’em back” at the end of the day. Babies are a joy . . . toddlers are a joy . . . teenagers are a joy! Kids are intrinsically life-enhancing, and grandchildren make one feel like you are going to live forever. Which, in our progeny, we do.
In the biblical story about God tapping a fellow named Abraham on the shoulder for some assistance, several promises were made. One Summer night Abe looked up at the stars and received a message that his descendants would be as numerous. Embracing that thought feels to me like living forever. I am the great-grandson of a Norwegian fisherman. He was the many-times-great-grandson of Vikings. Twenty generations down the line I will live on in my descendants. It really does feel like eternal life.
I sense a bit of this when any one of my grandchildren say, “I love you, Grandpa.” Hearing it a hundred times a day is not too much. I will never be too busy for that.