After much hoopla and zippity doo, last Friday, May 1, was the first day of the rest of my life. In other words, I am officially retired!! As many of you know, I’ve been looking forward to this for a very long time. I even installed a little widget by the name of “Free Countdown Timer” on my work computer, Every day for about 2 years I had a little window in the top right corner of my screen that reported the number of years, months, days, and even minutes left to go till my retirement date. It’s also possible that I reported this information to friends and family on a regular basis. Got to the point where folks what ask, “what’s the countdown?” when they saw me out and about. I’ve been rather geeked about the whole idea for a long time!
So now I’m retired!! I’ve been asked how it feels… actually it feels pretty much the same as it has for the last month or more. The corona virus had me working at home since late March. Then I was on bereavement for 3 days; and finally took 20 days of vacation until my retirement date. Can’t really travel much, since the stay at home order keeps getting extended here in Michigan. Although some may not agree, that’s actually a good thing. I have no interest in contracting the virus; and I absolutely don’t want to bring it home to my Honey Pie.
I can describe my feelings toward retirement with one word: grateful. Fortunately for us, we paid off all our debt long before The Big Day. No mortgage, no car payments, no loans. We have money in the bank. I moved our 401k and IRAs to slow growth / low risk funds long before the economy pooped out; so we haven’t lost any of our retirement savings. We have plenty of food, and since we aren’t burning much gasoline we’re saving even more money. There’s even enough to donate to our local homeless shelter.
Many have asked what I’m doing with my time. And of course, I’ve been sitting in front of the TV eating bonbons and binge watching vampire shows. Well maybe not all the time. Yes, we really have been eating candy and watching “True Blood.” which is a vampire series available for free from HBO. Let’s hear it for the Roku!! Those who have one know what I’m spewing about. My Beautiful Girlfriend has a greater appetite for binge watching than I do; but I’ll admit do get sucked into the shows.
Other times I’m doing foolish things like cooking meals, doing dishes, and cutting firewood. I’ve gotten some work done in the garden; and am looking forward to doing more once winter is over. Yes, I said winter!! In May!!! Sheesh!!! We had some nice warm weather in late April; but now we’re getting little snizzles of snow and have a hard freeze in the forecast. None of my frost sensitive plants are in the ground yet. I’m guessing the tomato and pepper seedlings were wondering why the !bleep! they were getting pelted with snow globs when I had them outside for some sun today. I’ve brought them inside for two nights now, worried that it would still dip below freezing in the shed. Oh, and I made my first “tulip tent” to protect my Lovely Bride’s tulip blooms. She planted a bunch of bulbs a while ago, but would shake her head in frustration when only a couple would bloom each year. Well this year she counted 15 blooms, so to protect them I built a tulip tent from some poles and tarps.
So yes, retirement has been very exciting. And no, I’m not being sarcastic! I’m excited that I don’t answer to anyone but myself… oh and my Beautiful Girlfriend. Yes, I’ve answered to my Beautiful Girlfriend for many years now; but that’s very OK with me. I’m excited about going to bed late and getting up without the screaming of an alarm clock. I’m not so excited that my britches are getting a bit tight from all the goodies we’ve been eating. Part of that is a result of the stay at home order I think maybe. We cook, we eat, we snack. When we don’t feel like cooking I’ll do the unthinkable and cook with my credit card (takeout). But most of all this eating too much is that we like food. A lot.
For now, retirement will mean obeying the stay at home order. Travel will happen only as needed for groceries, prescriptions, and so on. And yes, when I go to the store or other public areas I wear a mask and often some disposable gloves. But when the corona virus threat is over… LOOK OUT!! We’ll probably just keep doing what we’re doing now.
And that’s just fine by me!! And while my Honey Pie enjoys binge watching vampire shows, I’ll sneak off and watch some educational programs like this…