It’s a dog’s life



“”I am not obliged to do any more. No man is obliged to do as much as he can do. A man is to have part of his life to himself. If a soldier has fought a good many campaigns, he is not to be blamed, if he retires to ease and tranquillity. A physician, who has practised long in a great city, may be excused, if he retires to a small town, and takes less practice. Now, Sir, the good I can do by my conversation bears the same proportion to the good I can do by my writings, that the practice of a physician, retired to a small town, does to his practice in a great city.”  -Samuel Johnson

The 18th of September is the anniversary of the birth of Samuel Johnson, English lexicographer and my late mother’s favorite curmudgeon.   But his thoughts on retirement echo that of my peers, some of whom are at the summit of their careers, others finding a sudden job loss near “retirement age” refreshing, and still others who have punched their last clock.  I think each seized their opportunity and turned things over to a new generation.  And I am getting into that same mindset.

Now I just have to convince my spouse of how that will benefit “us”.


 In a strange twist of genealogy, thanks to the wonders of the digital age though all sorts of records that are available online,   a maternal ancestor happened to be the late Dr. Johnson’s biographer, James Boswell.




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