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Thursday, October 13, 2011

The routine of one retiree


The Sam Houston construction project has finally hit my neck of  the woods,so now I'm going to have to use alternate routes. Using the routes is not so bad; it's remembering that's usually more difficult, after so many years of taking the same route.  The Palmwood to Sam Houston inlet will be a one car at a time lane, most of the day.  I'll get used to it because I haven't used the Red River to Citizens Hospital in a long time.  Progress, sometimes you love it, sometimes it's not so good.

Now that my wife is retired, she's gotten into this kick of using everything in the freezer and the cupboards before we buy more groceries ,except for the perishables.  I guess that's a pretty good plan but when she was working, her mind was elsewhere, now there's a to- do list, a grocery list, and a cleaning list on the refrigerator.  I Hope this is just a retirement phase she is going through and things will eventually get back to normal. I wonder if she'll notice if I throw out three boxes of hamburger helper,that I have hidden in the back of the cupboards?

Right now I'm getting tired of Rim, the makers of  my Blackberry cell phone, having so many problems.  Their stock prices are dropping quickly and the company might not be able to stay alive.  They've already taken a backseat to the iPhone.  This concerns me because I may have to go exchange my Blackberry for an iPhone( probably at a discounted price) before my  will be rendered useless.  My wife is no help, she says why do you need all those fancy applications; then she takes out her basic phone and emphasizes that she gets over 90% of the calls in our plan, with no need for the other features.  That might be a good thing because I believe there's a app for organizing and another one for making casseroles from leftovers...:-)

Retirement is great but one should always keep their mind occupied, unless sitting on the porch and watching cars go by is good therapy for you.  I will never succumb to staying home and watching television all day but my wife asked a question, I didn't have an immediate answer for.  She asked " what's the difference between writing a blog or surfing the web and watching television?" I'll have to work on that and get back to her. -And she'll hold me to it.  I've always thought traveling would be ideal but as you get older,being behind the wheel for 12 hours is much harder.  I think we can adjust to it by driving 8 hours, resting, and continuing on but we'll see next year.I wonder who will take my grown married children’s car to get inspected,do an errand they forgot, or tend to the two spoiled furry cats we have?


Sugar Magnolia said...

Take heart, Mike. My dad is trying to figure out retirement as well. Being the night owl he's always been, he stays up nights and watches the boob tube and plays with the cats and dog. Then he sleeps late, gets up, reads the paper, then goes over to piddle in his garage/workshop and tackles yard chores. He usually tries to work on projects he never really got around to when he was working. Right now, the big project is rescreening windows around here and in his garage. We will be having a garage sale coming up in a few weeks, so I suspect he will start busying himself with that.

Occasionally, we will go out to eat, or catch a movie. We go shopping together, neither one of us really cares for shopping though, it's much more of a chore than a pleasure. We play a game of pool here and there, and although we haven't in a long time, we used to play chess, Battleship, Stratego, and Risk. Maybe we should dig those old board games out more often.

He or both of us visit his mother and sister about once every couple of months in Conroe, play poker and dominoes and visit with his nephews.

These are our days now. and it's not half bad. He doesn't have any stress any more and doesn't have to answer to anyone. He's free, the way he wanted to be so many years ago. I do think he misses the shop and some of the guys at work, and I know he misses the work he did, just as I would if I were to retire. Don't think I ever will. Retire, that is. I just can't picture it. I read an article about a tech hanging up her lab coat for a final time, and let me tell you, that really got to me. I had never thought of it before, and there was just something so sad in imagining leaving a profession that has defined me for decades, that has been at the heart of all that I do. With no kids or husband (YAY me!) I have given my life to my career and now can't imagine myself without it. I hope I will be able to retire as gracefully as dad has, but I don't know that I can.

Do you find that you miss work? The skills you built up over the years? The people?

Good blog, Mike.

Mike said...

I think your dad and I are going through the same withdrawals of always having something to do.

When I was working I enjoyed the days off to catch up on what little I missed. We used to plan everything for my days off, so I stayed pretty busy. I've been retired for nine years and I still miss my coworkers because we used to share our problems,ideas, and good times. It was like a second family. I don't miss the work because of the way I was phased out in my last year. They knew I was going to retire, so I didn't have to attend any more meetings, or do much of anything other than be there in case a new hire had questions. I was put on the United Way campaigns, visitors guide, and just about anything that came up.

I've talk to the others who have retired and they went through the same experience. My coworkers called for about a couple of months and then it was every six months and now the ones that are still working never call anymore. Several of my old coworkers moved out of town, a couple are hospitalized, and two more have passed away. Our close knit group is down to about eight people on a good day. The thing is, I love being around people, the more the merrier, so that's what I miss the most.


Legion said...

I know how you feel Mike.

Although not retired I went thru the same.

My family s Corp. use to own Big Macs Diner among other ventures.

For more than 20 years it was the same routine... Get to work, find out what needs to be done and go drink coffee at Big Macs, fix whatever and eat lunch at Big Macs, get off work and drink a beer at Big Macs.

Then we sold Big Macs, but that was ok, it meant that my co-worker and I didn't have to work on the grill/fryer/electrical problems/plumbing problems and ect. ect. at Big Macs and we still drank coffee in the am and ate lunch there and bullshitted with the same people we always bullshitted with.

Then Big Macs burned down... talk about a change in a old routine, we rarely saw any of our bullshit friends, it was a retirement of something we had known.

So that was a taste of retirement although we weren't.

I can take a guess, that the thing you miss most, is the bullshitting with your co-workers and customers, just like me.

Mike said...

You are absolutely right....At my retirement party,(roast)my boss said he put in a good word for me @Sam's as the greeter...I could do that....
You just can 't duplicate it,like the playoff game between the 49er's &Cowboys where I teased a California transplant so much,I got baited into a bet...The next Monday mooring ,I had to put on a Steve Young jersey and take my first ever chew of Red Man..needless to say,I lost my breakfast...To this day I hate the 49er's...:-)

I don't know why I stay with ATT....This morning,I got in the long line to get my free upgrade....Their friend salespersons were passing out doughnuts and water and to answer questions. I told the young man that all I wanted was my free iPhone upgrade not for the new iPhone S...The young man verified that I was eligible and I would be OK..An hour later,after I finally got inside two different salespersons,one told me told the phone was in stock and the other said they were out...I should have suspected when the one that
Said they were out went to look...The other man took me to a register to get the process going(another 15 min.) and then I found out the free phone was not in stock but they had one for $99...True,I could have walked out but I already had an hour and 20 minutes invested,so I guess the sucker on my forehead must have stood out, because I purchased the phone....Story,not over ,I bought the case @ Sam's for $10 less and tomorrow I will go and exchange the one I stood in line for one with twice the memory for the same price.