Retirement Ain't What It's Cracked Up To Be



Let’s just say this right up front, retirement ain’t what it’s cracked up to be.  Sure, sure, all your working friends assume that retirement is a permanent cruise without the bad weather.  They think once you retire all your worries are over and life is an endless series of golf dates, travels, parties and mornings spent catching up on all the sleep you lost while working. 


That all could be possible; except for the following rule of life which like gravity and E=MC2 cannot be changed.  The time it takes to complete a task expands by the amount of time available.  While this sounds a little like one of the math classes I must have failed, it is a core truth for all retirees.


What this means is that since you have more time available, it will take you longer to do the myriad of jobs that you will be doing.  Those of you who got home late and left early assuming that the house would take care of itself, have likely found that the house doesn’t take care of itself.  In fact somebody has been doing a lot of work to make it look like the house takes care of itself.


When you worked 12 hours a day the spouse, when possible, was willing to shoulder most of the home related responsibility.  But, when you are lying in bed until nine every morning, things change.  Boy do they change.  For some reason your spouse may feel that walking the dog at 6 in the morning is one of those little life experiences to be shared. 


Then there is of course rule number two: Things that were once unimportant become important.  You never really cared that the neighbor’s car was always polished and yours looked like it just finished an off road race.  Who worried that the next door neighbor got yard of the month for twelve years running?  Cleaning the windows never got past number 20 on your to do list, but now you notice that through your windows it always looks cloudy outside.  Yes, the unimportant becomes important and you might really organize the garage and closet. 


Finally I must mention rule number three: When anyone begins a sentence with, “Since you are retired” run, run away as fast as you can.  The remainder of that sentence will be something like; “Would you mind watching our dog and watering the grass while we are on vacation?  I wouldn’t ask but since you are going to be around the house all the time.”


A few other odds and ends:  Your spouse has been making a retirement to do list since two weeks after you were married.  Your spouse will not understand your need to sleep until noon.  Your relatives will expect you to attend the funeral of your second cousin twice removed.  Complete strangers will ask what you do with your time.


Put all these things together and you begin to see why retirement is just not what you think it will be.   You never get a vacation day or holiday.  The only difference between Monday and Saturday is that it is less crowded at Wal-Mart on Monday.    


So am I looking for a job?  No way, no how, no sir, I’ll continue to deal with the little inconveniences of retirement.        


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