Thursday, January 27, 2011

44 Business Days To Retirement

As a compulsive journalist -- heck, I even majored in journalism in college -- I've often made the effort, particularly, to chronicle the major events, transitions, and travels of my life -- books of things my children did growing up; trips to Mexico, France, Italy; the rather gory and bizarrely x-rated journal about my little bout with prostate cancer...

The problem with journaling, as I see it, is that when you have time to do it right, nothing much is happening.  When you are in the midst of the earthquake there is no time to journal.   So with a few exceptions, I missed most of the pithy stuff but have written millions of words about nothing much and illustrated this pablum with equally bland photographs. 

To be honest, I'm not quite that humble and will lay claim to a few clever and interesting things, but, if I dropped dead tomorrow, any distant descendant who might be interested would have to dig through a mountain of oatmeal to find the raisins.   I remind myself of the old Seinfield sitcom.

Which leads up to my current blog-journal epic about retirement and kicking ass in the last quarter of the football game.  Somewhere along the line, I got the erroneous idea that I would be sitting back in an easy chair, growing a beard and smoking a pipe and dispensing the wisdom of a lifetime.

But instead, I'm running around more manic and freaked out then ever.  Of course, I still haven't retired yet -- so part of it is trying to tie up loose ends at work. 

BUTLER: "If you haven't been able to tie up the loose ends in the 13 years you were there, what makes you think you can tie them up in the next 44 days?"

And home is chaos.  Wonderful chaos - but chaos.  With Brian, Melody and family moving back in a few months ago, the population of living mammals (dogs, cats, humans, grandhumans) has tripled and the furniture has doubled. 

I arrive home after work and my first assessment is that a tornado has hit the place.  Not only that but the tornado is still here, whirling from room to room while I stumble after it, waist deep in toys, all of which have batteries and movement sensors so I am surrounded by squeeky voices saying, "One, two three...Play with me!"   I push through toward where I hear a glass breaking. 

From somewhere else, Karen's voice is calling out for help.  "Brian and Melody have to work late!!  Can you please change Conner's diaper?!  And did you get the salad stuff I asked you to?"

Which of course, I had not done.  

Turning toward where I assume Conner's diapers might be, I step on a small plastic helicopter which, of course, in a squeeky voice, says, "Let's play the alphabet game!  A is for..."

"'A' is for AAAAAAAAH!"  I tell it. 

I wonder if I'll have time to blog about retirement in retirement.

Maybe I should just sit tight and work on blogging about the nursing home.  I'll need one with Internet Access.  Of course, I may not remember what Internet Access does.  Maybe instead of the computer, I'll just bring the plastic helicopter.  "One, two, with me!"     I can drive the nurse's aides crazy.


  1. I like the looking through the oatmeal to get to the raisins analogy. And the idea of having a nursing home with little helicopters. ;-)

    You're on my blog-roll, by the way, that's how I know when you have written a new post (which I look forward to). Enjoy the day! ;-)

  2. Retirement Rules! I'm 10 years into it and my project list is still growing. You'll be fine.

  3. Yes, the oatmeal in raisins struck a chord with me, as well. You must start restricting certain spaces to I am warning you. A small floor basket in every room also helps to dump all the toys into. When the basket gets too full...then the toys go to the toy room and you get to start over again. You are going to LOVE retirement.

  4. I don't have any pint-sized chaos at home. . . more like college-goers and recent grads and the occasional fifth. That's more than enough chaos!

  5. So, what's the current census in your household? Exactly how many cats, dogs, humans, grand-humans and helicopters live there? (In case you can still count them all - I know, it gets difficult when everyone is moving from rooom to room all the time)

  6. I thought I would love the peace and quiet of retirement and everyone gone, but it is too quiet around here. Better be careful of what I wish for I might get it. Keep counting, as if you wouldn't.

  7. You'll be like most of us retirees, Mark. You'll stay busy all day long and wonder where the time went. I cannot believe that we're at the end of January already and I haven't accomplished half that I wanted to. Jack's right -- you'll be just fine and you'll wonder why you didn't do it sooner. As much as I loved my job, I love retirement more. :)

  8. Wow, how time flies. Be careful what you wish for. I am working more since retiring. Will write more in email. Miss my boys.