Moscow, Russian Federation
Pavel Gregurevich Pochkin sat at a bench in Gorky Park. He was peaceful, looking in the distance reminiscing. Only a week ago he was walking the streets of Moscow proudly wearing his postman’s uniform. One would think that this is a difficult profession, and in many ways it was. You spend days on your feet carrying on your shoulders the weight of the letters.
Sure, there are days when the postman’s bag was heavy for Pavel. The cold-morning air was “slicing” across his face like a razor. Days when he was sleepy and tired and would have rather stayed in bed. Now when he looks back there were also many moments where he felt “light as a butterfly”! Whilst he was working, he didn’t look at his job with such depth as he is now.
“Some days are good, and some are bad, such is life” he would tell himself in his head. Indeed there is nothing unusual about that thought. What is incredible is how such a recent event has so profoundly changed his perception. A week ago he would pass this same park bench, exchanging greetings with people sitting in the park as he is now.
In passing he would think to himself: “Pensioners, they have earned their keep!” They are so lucky and carefree and able to enjoy their days without a worry in the world (other than their health)!”
He still could not grasp and process in his mind the fact that he was now : “One of them- a Pensioner!” This fact,which was a blissful thought only a week ago now horrified him!
Like in many other cultures across the globe, in Russia, retirement is something of a “blessing and a curse.” This was dependent upon the personal circumstances “shaped” by life. It was a blessing for those who had grandchildren and were in good health. Commencing retirement meant spending more time with these special “little people!”
It more often than not was a curse for those who lived alone, (even if they were in good health). There, right before them, was a completely new dilemma. The first question which life threw at them now was: “What is the purpose and meaning of my existence now?!”