Is this retirement?

April 6, 2016

My husband retired. His friends from work bought him a Go Pro with all the accessories. The new, stress-free Jeff is a delight to spend my days with.

I worried that we’d be in each other’s way, so I bought him his own laptop as a retirement gift. (I should say that when my laptop crashed, I commandeered his laptop, at his suggestion.) But it was a good call to give him his own. He doesn’t disturb me when I’m writing and he helps me so much around the house that I get a lot more done.

He takes time to relax, too.


We talk more. Part of that is because we’re celebrating the huge life change with a once-in-a-lifetime style cruise. It departs and returns to Rome. We talk more because we’re going to be eating out for about a month and we want to look svelte as we pose in front of Michaelangelo’s ‘David’ or in front of the minarets of Istanbul. So we’re walking about 4 miles a day around our neighborhood, plus all the walking around the house as we busily get the house ready for home shoppers.

Home selling is a topic we discuss almost every day. We’ve had almost no lookers and are utterly baffled as to why. We priced it well and then dropped the price even more. It’s a fantastic house with a great floor plan, spacious rooms, 2 acres of private, nicely landscaped grounds,  luxurious appointments and a fabulous kitchen. The online photos are pretty good. The few lookers we’ve had said it was “very attractive” but it was too far outside of the bustle of the city. We’re about 7 minutes from Walmart, Kohls, Walgreens, and 7-ll. 5 minutes from an excellent school grade school in Edmond schools.  I don’t get it, but then again, I’d rather be further out. Jessie Teehee is our realtor, if anyone is interested in buying a beautiful place in a quiet, friendly neighborhood.

So far, we painted our red living room back to a neutral creamy beige-white. It’s nice. He cut down a tree in the front of the house that was leaning at about a 40 degree angle. We broke down and stored our utility trailer, mowed the grass, weeded, and doused all the beds with miracle grow. He does the dishes most of the time, too.

Retirement has also inspired us to tighten our belts financially. Since Jeff retired quite early, he’s too young to collect social security, and his pension is about a 65% pay cut. So when Dish network raised our rates again, (we had negotiated a great price for last year), we cancelled. We thought they were bluffing when they let us go so easily. But they weren’t. So we got out the Roku and added Sling TV for $20 a month (without a contract. . .you can suspend service for a month or more and restart it easily) We wanted sling for the sake of ESPN. and HGTV.  The only thing we’re missing with this set up is Fox News. The Sling TV only comes with CNN.

Then again, I don’t mind keeping all the rancor out of the house that Fox News seems to bring in. We watched the Wisconsin primaries on CNN and it’s eye-opening to hear the liberal (journalists????) chatting about what they perceive to be going on in the Republican party. I don’t want to ruin the enamel on my teeth with all the teeth grinding I do when I listen, so I don’t resort to that very much. And it can’t be good for my soul to be reminded everyday of what a monster I think Donald Trump is. So I take news from the Newspaper where I choose to read the things that interest me and leave the rest to become mulch for my vegetable garden.

So this is retirement. More talk with my spouse, (he knows a lot and thinks well) more exercise, (never a bad thing) less political shouting from the boob tube, (a bonus this year especially) and belt tightening.

Oh, we also eat our main meal at noon. That’s a very good change. I have a touchy stomach that is happy every night, now.

I realize that there might be a bit of honeymoon going on. And the cruise dining room will certainly tighten our belts much more effectively than just cancelling Dish.

Our money advisor tells us that retirement should be a second childhood without parental supervision. In truth, we’ve lived just long enough to enjoy life’s simple pleasures.

As we prepare to move once we sell the house, we’ve been packing. It has pointed out how much pointless stuff we have/had. Today I threw out a nest of tangled cords that I have no idea what they went to.  It’s so nice to get rid of extraneous possessions. But I think I’ll keep this guy that’s hanging around all the time.



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