Today is the First Day

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

― Rumi

Clarence Street Art Collective, The Cedars, Dallas, Texas

I remember back in high school during an assembly when the principal came out – he was an old, clueless, asshole who was gone within a year – stepped up to the microphone and said, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” There was an immediate deafening groan. The idiot had read this somewhere and thought he was the first one to discover the saying. He must never have looked at a poster (this was, of course, decades before the internet and tacky posters were the communication method of spreading memes) and ignorant that the phrase he uttered was five years’ worn out. I almost felt sorry for the old fool… no, not really.

But today was, really, the first day of the rest of my life. After almost a half-century of going to work every single day, I retired. I turned in my work phone, my laptop, and my security badge and walked out to my car.

It’s an incredibly strange feeling – like something huge that used to be right there, all the time, and now is gone forever. I woke up this morning and instinctively reached for my work phone to see what disasters had occurred overnight that I would have to deal with… and found the charger empty.

So what was the first thing I did post-work? I’m sure you will not be surprised to read that I crawled out of bed at dawn, made a thermos of fresh ground coffee, and went for a long bike ride. It felt so good not having any time pressure. Even on Saturdays, when I was working, I would feel the pressure of upcoming Monday. And now Monday is just another day.

I stopped at one of my usual places and sat there and leisurely drank my coffee. I think I’ll do this every day. Actually, I thought about putting a list out somewhere with times and places I plan to have coffee, call it “East Richardson morning bike and coffee” or something and see if anyone ever wants to meet me and share a cup of Joe. Is that a good idea? It seems sort of weird, but it would be fun. Have to think about it.

After all, I can do whatever I want.