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Chiang Mai Citylife > Articles > 2010 > 2010 Issue 03 > A Retiring Attitude

A Retiring Attitude

On New Year’s Eve I was reminiscing about the passing year and I thought to myself, “Boy 2008 really went fast”. Then the ball came down and told me it was 2010. “Holy cow! What happened to 2009?”

That got me to thinking about how I could slow down these quickly passing days. If all I did was to drink beer all day then my days might pass more slowly. But I have been keeping myself rather busy. So busy now that I really don’t know when I ever found time to work before.

I don’t want to give up doing interesting things; they help me to wake up every morning with anticipation. My solution is to tackle some long-term projects, something that will take what will seem like forever to complete. That should slow things down. Here are a couple of ideas.

Plant a garden. Not the tomato and broccoli variety. But a multi-year project like a real manicured English type garden or maybe something fashioned after the gardens at Versailles.

Plant trees, preferably hardwoods. Teak takes decades to mature. If you don’t have the room, then try a bonsai. That will take a while. I once saw a 500 year old bonsai tree.

Write a novel. First novels always take forever to write.

Start a family. I know a few people my age (men of course) who have recently begun to raise a new family. That should take a couple of decades at least.

Learn Thai. I have been at it for 40 years and am just beginning to make sense of things around me.

Learn to play an instrument. The piano is probably hard enough but if that’s too easy then try an instrument like the ranaat (Thai xylophone).

Play golf. It took me five years to learn just how to hit the ball. I still haven’t learned how to hit it where I want.

Most of these will keep you going for 30 years or more. By then we’ll all probably be ready to move on to our next adventure.

For further information about retiring to Thailand check out Hugh’s site www.retire2thailand.com.

Hugh’s advice for the month: I saw an older expat man in the bank the other day yelling at people around him to get them to do what he wanted. Elders are looked at with respect here, as long as they too are respectful. You’ll find that the softer you speak, the more willing people will be to help you.