Things I’m Learning About Retirement.

Here is a list of things I’m learning about being retired. They are creeping up on me as I become accustomed to not working. Some are surprising and some not so much. And some have more to do with aging than retiring. I’m sure this list will be a regularly occurring feature on this blog.

  1. You don’t have to do your errands and grocery shopping on the weekend. Yesterday I went out to Michael’s for one of their ubiquitous 70% off canvas sales. Michael’s is located across the street from Costco. For some reason the street leaving Costco is one lane, so turning out of the Michael’s parking lot is a chore on the weekends, even if you are only turning right, into the stream of traffic. Those Saturday errand warriors are not very generous in allowing extra traffic into the mix. After waiting for ten minutes for someone who needed to go left across that incessant stream of cars (Doesn’t anyone plan their shopping so they don’t have to cross traffic like that? There is a light one driveway down where she could’ve crossed easily!), I realized that I don’t have to do my errands on a Saturday any more. The canvasses were on sale on Friday too.  (Not that I even need more canvas. Michael’s puts them on 70% off about every other week. ) There is even a not very crowded Farmer’s Market on Wednesday morning so  that outing can be avoided on Saturday as well. I’m just a creature of habit, I guess. And that habit that will be changing now.
  2. Even though you don’t have to get up early to go to work (4:45 AM for 25 years is not as hard a habit to break as I expected), it’s good to maintain reasonable sleep and wakeup times. Your body wants that and doesn’t feel so great when you stay up until midnight to watch one more episode of Outlander. Or whatever one does until midnight. You feel kind of warmed over in the morning. The excuse that you can sleep in as late as you want to doesn’t really fly with me. I don’t feel good when I stay up too late, no matter how many hours I sleep.
  3. It seems to be a good idea to save one day a week in which you don’t schedule anything in particular, unless it’s maybe a lunch date. I am so busy now doing whatever I want to that I can’t imagine how I ever found time to work. That’s not really true. It’s just a thing people say. I have plenty of time, but I am quickly filling it up, so it is truer than you might think. So I’ve declared Fridays appointment free days. Unless someone wants to go out to lunch or to see a movie.
  4. There aren’t as many chances to earn a couple extra hundred dollars as there were when I was working, so even though I have enough to live on, doing extra things will require special budgeting and saving. I’m not very good at that, so that’ll be a new skill to master. Or I could get a part time job if I want to go someplace expensive.
  5. When you go to the Apple store (Or, presumably other places) you may be told to have your daughter set up something in your phone for you. Today I was buying new charging cables for my phone and iPad and when asked if I used Apple Pay, I said no. I’d set it up but had to change cards because mine got hacked and bla bla bla. I just hadn’t gotten around to setting it up again. I’ve lived without it all my life, so I don’t feel any urgency to begin, but at the same time, I’m game.  After trying to set it up for me, and discovering that I’d have to call my bank to finish setting it up, the teenaged clerk who was attending me told me to just have my daughter do it for me. This is the daughter who was at that moment buying her first computer ever. I have owned Mac products since this guy was in elementary school and I can certainly set up Apple Pay if I want to use it. And I said that. I wasn’t rude, mind you. I didn’t  say the elementary school thing. I just said “Yeah, I can do it.” But he again told me to just have my daughter do it for me, that she’d take care of me. The condescending pat on my shoulder hung in the air, unpatted, but present all the same.  I recognize that this was probably a function of my silver hair rather than my being retired, but it fits here any way. Really.  Just really. Ugh!!
  6. Here is an encouraging photo to end this post, Because no matter how cold and rainy, no matter how crowded things become, these birds always take to the air and soar, cackling and laughing all the way. Plus Sandhill Cranes are just so cool!