Thoughts on retirement

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i met a really remarkable old man yesterday

he teaches Qi Gong at the park everyday

always smiling and greeting you with the warmth of the winter sun

his body is strong but flexible, back bending just for fun

he dwells in the quiet countryside, a simple house maintained spotlessly

next to it is his garden where pine trees and mangos grow in harmony

he pulls out a top-of-the-shelf tea set, eyes excited with twinkles: "come try, this is the sweetest Pu'er"

truly, the tea is sweetened with his demeanor

First of all, I'd like to apologize for my terrible poem. My 11th-grade English teacher Mr. Small would be embarrassed.

I'm sharing it regardless because 1) someone may realize, "hey I could do better than this" and start writing sonnets. Another poet is born, a positive addition to the world. So, we should write more bad poems.

2) I am inspired by the old man's way of living.

It takes an insane amount of discipline and selflessness to show up at the park 6am every day for 30+ years. He teaches Qi Gong for free to anyone who would stop by.

"If fate allows, I'd teach it for 30 more years", says the man.

This guy is not a guru or saint. He's just a normal human like you and me. He has a family of 4 and prior to retirement, a full-time job as well.

That kind of consistency and dedication is beautiful. And it's reflected in his physical and mental health, both are probably in better shape than mine.

Meeting him makes me wonder what my sunset life would look like. Would I have a hobby I love so much I don't mind doing it for 60 years? Would I be moving like him, or sitting in a wheelchair?

Of course, it's entirely possible that I don't get to live until retirement. Maybe I can try out a "mini retirement" life. Where can I rent a grandchild, a plot of fruit and vegetable garden, and arthritis for a few days?

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