Retirement brings so many delights it’s hard to count the ways, but one benefit is particularly sweet. Since I retired I can’t recall a single time I’ve been shocked awake by the clock radio before my body has determined it’s ready to get up. Fortunately my honey is a morning-man so if I do have an early appointment I can count on him to wake me up.
Monday, January 14, 1980. Pickering, Ontario. 6:28 a.m. Snuggled under the duvet in my bed on a cold dark winter morning, dreaming sweet dreams. Suddenly I’m jolted awake by the sounds of Bobby McFerrin singing Don’t Worry, Be Happy, which is probably the song I hate most in the entire history of music. When the song ends, the voice on the radio says, “. . . and now a traffic report. Highways across the GTA are snow-covered and icy this morning after last night’s four-inch snow fall. Expect delays on Highway 401 westbound at Port Union Road where a car is blocking two lanes following a fender-bender. Police are on the scene but drivers are advised to switch to Highway 2 which is also stop and go due to increased volume . . . blah, blah, blah”. I immediately get a giant knot in my stomach and my feet haven’t even hit the floor yet.
Or what about business trips when you’re at a hotel in another city? You’ve requested a wake-up call and you brought your own battery alarm clock which is set to go off at 6:28 a.m., but what if both fail? What if jet lag makes you snooze through the alarm? What if there are no taxi’s to take you to the office?
The stress of morning alarm clocks still lingers even though they’re no longer a part of my life. But the upside is that not hearing an alarm clock makes the experience of laying in bed until your creaky old body is ready is just that much sweeter. Yep. That’s just another one of those things about retirement that makes life so sweet.