Positivity, optimism and a coat of paint.

The bloke at the paint shop is retiring.

News of his imminent departure hits hard and it is with heavy heart that I bid him farewell.

It's been a good 12 years since he first sold me a tub of of his finest and there have been many litres of it since. Paint for the roof, house and fence - acrylic, enamel, you name it ... I've bought it.

Not to mention the turps, pigmented sealers, paint brushes, rollers, sand paper and masking tape - miles and miles of it.

And he's been there throughout - unbelievably enthusiastic and all knowing;  on hand to advise, guide and encourage me on the sometimes painful road to home renovation.

Good God - he's practically  one of the family.

"What will you do?" I ask.

He smiles broadly and hits me with his master plan and it is indeed inspiring.

Tom, unlike many older codgers I've met on the cusp of retirement, has no plans to put his feet up.

He's made a bit of cash over the last 40 years and wants to put some of it to good use helping others less fortunate than himself.

The 65 year-old reckons he's got plenty of time to do his bit for humanity and plans to be around for at least another twenty years.

"We live in age of modern, medicine," he says."All the statistics tell me I'll live longer than my father and  his dad before him."

His optimism is infectious and I can't help but feel equally enthused as he outlines his hopes and aspirations.

It's a far cry from another guy I know.

He ran out of things to do after his first six months off the payroll and quickly turned into a surly and cantankerous version of his former self - the kind of miserable old git who scowls at the world as soon as he opens his eyes in the morning and fills his days finding fault in others.

How I hope I don't fall into that trap when my time comes.

And it will.

Nobody has an infinite career path ahead of them and all of us will have a big adjustment to make once we reach the final stage of it - unless fate, and a premature exit from life, comes first.

The big question will be "what next?" And procrastination will be the undoing of anyone who fails to seek an answer.

Which bring me back to my old mate the paint merchant and his own inspiring plans.

He's got me thinking and I wish him well as I exit his shop for what could be the last time under his watch.
"Good luck," I say. "Have fun."

He will, I'm sure, though there is one proviso.

First he's got to paint his house. He's spent the last 40 years telling people how to get their own homes into top shape and has, as a result, neglected his own.

He's looking forward to ripping into that task too.

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