The following is part of a Michael Chat. It resonates with me. It helps me to understand this world I am currently experiencing. It makes sense. However, it is only a part of the chat which you will find here should you so choose to read further.
There is no good work in solitude as a way of life. For the time of looking inward, yes. For the time of pulling one's self together after the activity of the hour, yes. For a state or preference in dealing with the world, no. No one ever expanded agape or evolved in the soul by escaping to a mountain fastness to be alone. Are your connections always satisfying? No, many are frustrating, exasperating, unfriendly, hurtful, demeaning. But taken as a whole, we would say that going about the world, enduring, enjoying, enabling, is the means for growth and in the end bliss.
You will notice we did not say 'happiness'. Happiness is not gained from others. Happiness is created within. Again, we do not say 'found'. It is created and re-created minute by minute. However, you are from a creature whose bent was sociability. And sociability means interaction with others of the same kind.
The lesson for me is the value, to me, in the choice of interacting with others and choosing those actions which bring the feeling of well-being. Once one "retires" from the world of work, the opportunities for interaction change. It is at this time I seek interaction in a different way. (Reading and writing blogs is just one way for me to interact with others.) It is now when friendships are important. As an example, this past weekend we had the opportunity to have a TGIF get-together with a couple who we have been able to call on a Friday afternoon and invite to dinner. They do the same. This time they made the call and we were able to dine with them. The nice thing about it is the camaraderie. We have been doing this for the past 25+ years. We don't meet every Friday and the times are less frequent. The times are cherished for the friendship as well as the food and wine.
The other get-together was with two couples who never have been together socially. We know the women but had not spent any time with the men in their lives. A wine/cheese tasting prior to dinner seemed the perfect way to get to know them. The time was magic. There was no awkwardness, just openness and good humor. As Michael pointed out above, it is all about interaction and choosing the outcome. We all chose happiness and joy.
Next week Maryann and I choose to be with our family at our youngest daughters home. I suspect a good time will be had by all. At least that is my choice.