We all have different ideas about how we want to spend our Golden Years. I have a friend who took up Zumba after retirement. Another is into ornamental gardening. Habitual shopping makes many of my friends happy. My mother read novels and collected jewelry before she retired as a trial judge, and she read novels and collected jewelry full time after she retired.
I just didn’t see myself doing any of that. I especially couldn’t see myself crocheting or knitting in a rocking chair day in and day out. I want to cook and eat good food, take photos and write.
Finding a “high” after retirement
In November 17, 2018, less than a month after my 55th birthday, I created a food and travel blog that I thought would be my retirement project. The idea took roots after I saw Samurai Gourmet on Netflix a year before the earliest version of this blog went online. Takeshi Kasumi is a 60-year-old dealing with his empty days as a new retiree. Unaccustomed to the lack of regular daily activity, he goes out in search of new adventures which are almost always related to food.
I understood. Takeshi Kasumi is searching for a “high” after retirement — a combination of meaning and purpose that excites him enough to get out of bed and gives him ample sense of achievement by the time he goes to sleep at night.
Without that “high”, a retiree’s days would be empty and happiness would be elusive. There is a feeling of uselessness that eats into the heart and soul. I’ve seen it happen with people who were close to me. It starts with desolation then develops into desperation. It kills the mind and then it kills the body. It need not happen if, after retirement, one can find one or more meaningful activities that adds purpose to each day.
Food, travel and the current reality
I figured that occasional travel would allow me to explore Asian cuisines, write about food, take photos, create travel-inspired dishes in my home kitchen, and stay productive and creative. Then, culinary travel ground to a halt in 2020. But that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to enjoy and share our love for Asian food through home cooked dishes.
Connie Veneracion, August 20, 2021 @ 8.05 p.m.