Previously I wrote of the feelings of freedom I experienced during a summer devoid of responsibility. Until the time of my retirement much of my life was burdened by duty. Like most children of the great depression I was preoccupied with financial security. My father encouraged me to construct a life that was better than his. I viewed higher education as the natural pathway to achieve such a goal. After acquiring several degrees I spent my adulthood toiling to build my mini-empire. Although I greatly enjoyed my career, it frequently controlled me. Business decisions often forced me to take risks. When I did I would feel anxiety that the project would fail and I would not be able to meet my financial obligations.
When Alexis Zorba was asked whether he had ever married he gave an answer that well could have been written by me. Am I not a man? Am I not a fool? Wife, children, the whole catastrophe! No matter how much I cared for my family I often felt overloaded and burdened. Allow me to share a poem dealing with the termination of youth and the onset of adult responsibility
For one brief span of fleeting time
he knew that freedom held its sway
and never again would rule the day.
For on that bright and halcyon morn
he gazed across a distant gulf
and saw the far senescent shores
and knew that childhood lay behind
adulthood stretched ahead
assuring duty, debts and death.