Wednesday, 31 August 2011

#44: The Best Thing?

I have a friend who says that what she likes best about retirement is having time to read the newspaper, the entire paper, on a weekday morning while enjoying a cup of coffee.

Not sure about "best", but I definitely now enjoy reading more than the headlines with my morning cuppa.

Ask me, for example, about that quintessential Canadian crop, canola.  I can tell you why it is suddenly so cool, and a lot of other things besides.  (Or take a look at today's Globe and Mail Life section, page 1...)   


Tuesday, 30 August 2011

#43: Conversation

He:  It's really nice out.  Do you want to walk downtown after lunch?
Me:  I'd love to.
He:  We can drop books off at the library and then get your watch fixed.
He:  Maybe stop for a drink...check out Carden Street.
Me: Sounds good.
He:  We can do stuff like this all the time now that you are retired.
Me:  (Smiling) I know. 

Monday, 29 August 2011

#42: Gong Show

Went to the Seniors' Centre today to take out a membership.  Yikes.  The Seniors' Centre.

The place was full of really nice people-- nice, old people actually.  Some of them will very likely be in the class I signed up for: Qi Gong.

I suppose that embracing, or at least not running away from my age, is a good thing.  Besides, Qi Gong is a great way to maintain strength and flexibility. I will try to think of it as an investment.  

Sunday, 28 August 2011

#41: Funday

We joined a friend and her husband at a local jazz club this evening.  Her son's band was playing so we enjoyed the music for a couple of hours and had a drink. 

Another guy was at our table, and when I found out that he was retired, I asked him what he liked best about his new status.  His emphatic answer was "It's Sunday night, and I don't have to work tomorrow!" 

What a great concept.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

#40: Retirement Project

Retirees are just naturally expected to have a few projects-- scanning old photographs or cleaning out the basement--that are fall-back activities in case there is nothing else to do.

I would gladly ignore these boring-but-worthy tasks except that disorganization offends some basic bit of librarian DNA. So today I started with the garage, a manageable mess, and realized that one hour of sorting, cleaning, and discarding is all I can stand.  At this rate, the garage will be clean by Christmas.

Good thing retirement projects have no deadlines.   

Friday, 26 August 2011

#39: Woody 'n Me

It is tempting to celebrate retirement simply for the opportunity to work in the garden all day while in the company of woodpeckers.  Amazingly, they seem not to notice the lady in the big hat pulling weeds in a flowerbed two feet away. 

Thursday, 25 August 2011

#38: Booklust

Who reads a chapter or two in the morning before she even brushes her teeth?

A retired you-know-who.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

#37: Play Any Day

I have just finished organizing my fall and winter schedule for the Tarragon Theatre.

For the first time in ten years, our chosen evening is Wednesday.   The midweek cost is less, parking is easier, and restaurants don't need reservations. 

So many reasons to treat Wednesday like the weekend! 

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

#36: Hang It and They Will Come

The Twittersphere has spread the bird word...

Both feeders had visitors today, and so did I.  My neighbour appeared in my garden to check out the birds,  show me her knitting projects, and tell me about her trip to Stratford.

Did she know that "get to know neighbours" is also on my "things-to-do-in-retirement" list?

I guess it is too late to add "Win Lotto 649".

Monday, 22 August 2011

# 35: For the Birds

I can now cross off one of the items on my to-do-in-retirement list:  get a bird feeder.

The Squirrel Buster awaits feathered diners.   My binoculars are ready.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

#34: Wrinkled

It's Sunday, ironing day, and I forgot.

I'm taking this retirement thing far too seriously.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

#33: Mistaken Identity

One of the pleasures of being retired is that occasionally you are mistaken for someone who isn't.

As in:  Nancy and Husband are approached by Marketing Person at The Shaw Festival.  "Can I interest you in season's passes?  You'll save a lot because the season isn't over yet!  You're not retired, but if you were, you would save even more!

This happens to us, in different ways, quite frequently. 

Am I deluding myself?  I fear that out there in Marketing Land there is probably a handbook with the heading: Flattering the Young Aged for Profit.

Then again, perhaps I'll take my flattery where I can find it.


Friday, 19 August 2011

#32: Just Visiting

It feels weird to go back your former workplace as a visitor, but today I was just a patron picking up a book.  A staff person I didn't even know told me I had a library fine.

Then in the parking lot, I met another retiree, a librarian who left a year ago.  She seems to be doing fine, and we're talking about meeting with a few others for breakfast or coffee or whatever.

Life goes on. 

Thursday, 18 August 2011

#31: Book Lady

I have just attended an orientation at a local retirement home because I have applied to be a "library volunteer".

I'm not sure what this assignment entails exactly, and I don't think they do either. Read to seniors? Run a book group?  Place library holds? 

Never mind. We will work it out. I have dipped my toe into the water, and so far, it feels just fine.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

#29: Extended Visiting Hours

So the guests have arrived, last night's meal was acceptable, and today I am able to visit with our friends.

No more arriving home in the evening and asking my retired husband and the visitors what they did all day without me.

Monday, 15 August 2011

#28: Culinary Hell

In theory, retirement is my opportunity to become a better cook and a more gracious hostess.

But having just spent 2 hours roasting and peeling beets, and another hour (or did it only feel like that?) stripping all the pith from 4 oranges for the beet/orange/feta salad I intend to serve this evening, I am wondering if I am up to the challenge. Perhaps there is a better way to spend my time?

Or maybe I need more practice.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

#27: Guests

Friends will be staying with us for the next four days and for the first time ever, because I am retired, I have had time to clean not only the basement apartment, but other parts of the house that might also be of interest to guests.  The arrival of company brings a collateral benefit:  incentive to clean. 

And that should hold us until the next batch arrives.   


Saturday, 13 August 2011

#26: Just Say No

I was warned that soon into my retirement, volunteer opportunities would come my way from people who discovered I was (to use my daughter's term) fresh meat.

And that is just what happened.  I recently received an e-mail from a friend who asked me to serve on the board of his organization.  I was flattered to have been asked, and I did think it over but concluded that my strongest recommendation for the position was my availability. 

My boss wasn't giving me this job; it was not mandatory.  I could decline, and that is what I did.

The freedom to say no is powerful.


Friday, 12 August 2011

Thursday, 11 August 2011

#24: Gone Ape

I have a powerful need to use my time wisely.  Blame it on my Presbyterian upbringing.

So what was I doing this morning, still in my pajamas, reading online movie reviews?  Not one review, several, and all for the same film.  I wish I could report that I was investigating the upcoming Don Giovanni  (Live at the Met), but no, I was doing in depth research on The Rise of the Planet of the Apes. I frittered away a pleasant half an hour reading about a movie I had already seen.  I feel a little bit guilty.

But not too much.  It was a good, but not great, movie -- Roger Ebert and I agree.    

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

#23: Dinnertime

In my pre-retirement life, 6:30 dinner preparation went something like this:  open cookbook, read recipe, check cupboard.
Damn!  Essential Ingredient is missing. Sigh. Poached eggs again.

Now I am able to spend all day shopping for groceries and cooking up a storm.

More likely, however, I:  open cookbook, read recipe, check cupboard.
Damn!  I was sure I had black beans.  Sigh.  Cue the eggs.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

#22: Clock Watcher

Oh, Lord!  I slept in today.  On a Tuesday.  Will this become a habit?  Is rot setting in?

It was dark and rainy this morning.  I'll blame it on the weather.

Monday, 8 August 2011

#21: Smooch

A Monday mid-morning cuddle is a very nice thing....and not something you can do at work!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

#20: It Rained. So What?

I can re-do today tomorrow.  And perhaps the weather will be better.

Retirement gives new meaning to the phrase "a month of Sundays".

Saturday, 6 August 2011

#19: Freedom to Not Freeze

Today is so hot and humid that I am reminded how I usually went to work on such days with a jacket or sweater in tow so as not to freeze in the air conditioned library. Even so, I was always under-dressed for the inside climate.

Bring on real summer weather, and real summer clothing, and air conditioning that is turned on only if required.

Friday, 5 August 2011

#18: I Can Help

Today I found myself agreeing to canvass in our neighbourhood for Heart and Stroke next February.

Previously I would have equated such additional responsibility with a great deal of additional stress.  I would have refused.  (Please, please -- don't ask me take on another task, especially one that involves walking around after work in the cold and dark asking people for money!) 

It is amazing  how my attitude seems to depend entirely on context.  I will still be walking around in the cold and dark soliciting contributions, but I won't be squeezing it in at the end of a long work day.  So I don't think it will be a burden.  It will do my heart good.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

#17: Anytime is Movietime

I went to an afternoon movie (the latest Harry Potter) and didn't feel as if I was playing hooky.  Perhaps this is because it is summertime, and the audience was an all-ages group.

I'll have to try a matinee movie in the fall when I am guessing that the audience will consist of shift workers, folks who are unemployed, and a bunch of other retirees. 

I bet I'll enjoy the experience just as much.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

#16: Jet Lagged? OK.

Home again, facing jet lag and mountains of laundry.

But I do not have fake alertness today (or the rest of the week, for that matter).

And I can linger over the laundry as long as I want.  Someone else to actually do the laundry would be better, but I'll take what I can get.