Retirement Is Hard Work!

So here I am, working at what I’ve always worked for all my life, being retired, not needing to take any jobs to make ends meet, and now that it’s been a little over a year I can really relate to what the “old timers” used to tell me: “I am so busy now I don’t know how I ever had time to work!!”; and now I wonder do I put the semicolon inside the quote or outside because this run-on sentence is big but I needed to include the exclamation marks because hey, I wanted to emphasize that I often find myself with no time!!

Whew!

I had no idea what retirement would bring. My only goal was to be able to coast as long as possible without “working for the man” (or the woman) (besides my wife of course) (and now there are too many parentheses) (but I don’t care). So far, I’ve been able to be just fine without doing any work stuff for supplemental income. I am very grateful!!

Something is wrong, however. The days are zooming past my nose with great zippy fast kaboom all gone the days of quick time passing already!! And that may or may not even be a good way to describe it!! But I don’t care because I enjoy using words to make funny!! So there!! I mean, yesterday it was COVID outside, and today I hugged several friends at a gathering. Another example of how time has flown.

I have been vaccinated… I hope all of them have been too!!

My career as a “techie” has paid off in many ways, but it has also posed some very interesting challenges during retirement. For example, have any of you had the splendid experience of teaching an 86 year old neighbor how to use an iPhone? Much repetition. Much repetition. Much repetition. Also, I find myself repeating the same lessons over and over again. Additionally, I’ve been showing him how to recurrently do the same thing he did 2.4 minutes ago over and over again. No, he doesn’t have dementia. He has just never played with such technical things. Have I mentioned that I’ve been helping him with repetitive lessons on the same stuff multiple times? And he didn’t even get his landline ported over yet!!

Oh God oh God.

On the other hand, you have the vegetable garden. Makes my hands very dirty and I love every minute of it. I am an organic gardener, meaning I do not use any manufactured fertilizers or pesticides. All the soil building materials come from the dump. Yep. I put garbage by the trailer load in my dirt and wait for it to stop stinking. NO!! No, that’s wrong!! I do go to the dump (the politically correct term is transfer station) for fertilizer: free mulch in the form of leaves and lawn clippings. After 39 years of adding these to what was basically beach sand under the turf, I’ve been able to convert very sandy soil into a rich growing medium. And no, there is no such thing as “bad leaves” for the garden. When the worms are happy, the soil is happy.

Anyway, gardening can be very time consuming if you want to get a decent harvest. It’s always been a labor of love for me; and before retirement I had grandiose dreams of having a picture perfect garden. Guess what?? Uh uh. Nope. Sure I’m gonna get lots of food: snow peas, potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, beets, Swiss chard, garlic (lots of garlic), popcorn, hopefully some squash… to name a few. But there are some unruly corners of the garden that are infested with catnip, milkweed, lambs quarters, purslane, even some clover. But you know what? It’s very OK. If I had nothing else to do, my garden may (or may not) be free of weeds. People think I’m nuts when I tell them that “weeds are guardians of the soil.” It’s true you know. Their root systems prevent erosion while adding organic matter to the soil. Weeds provide habitat for spiders and other beneficial creatures. And when the catnip is flowering, pollinators of all sorts come a-runnin’. Ever see a hummingbird moth?? So amazing!! And not to forget the milkweed that feeds Monarch butterfly caterpillars. We’ve even enjoyed the fact that plants like lambs quarters and purslane are very edible.

Since we are social people, our calendar has filled up quickly. That’s good, right?? Better to be wanted and loved than to have people shudder at the mention of your name! Of course there are lots of other things that keep me occupied on this 5 acre homestead of ours. Maybe someday I’ll even get brave and clean up the clutter bomb that exploded (very slowly) in my garage!! Or do something really radical like declutter my office!! Are you picking up on a clutter pattern here?? Oh well, retirement really is awesome. And yes, “I’m so busy now I don’t know how I ever had time to work.”

And I really like it!!

We don’t have a lot of money, but we have enough. We are blessed really. Here’s one of my old favorite cartoons about a bad egg who got way too greedy.