So This is Retirement?


I took social security two years ago. Don’t buy into the hype that it’s better to wait. I won’t start losing money on my decision until I turn eighty. By then I’ll have Medicare and won’t be paying $22,500 a year for health insurance.

“How’s retirement?” you ask.

I am busier now than ever before. Mostly it’s because I’m the caregiver for my sister twenty hours a day. Maybe it’s because I got a rescue dog, untrained except she came to me mostly housebroken. Except when it’s raining hard. Someone surrendered her. She growls, she pulls, she’s pushy and sneaky. Don’t leave food on the table when you take Sis to the bathroom.

I’m not strong enough to wrestle with two dogs (the other a four year old lab mix) on a walk. I tried it daily until the leash got wrapped around my hand and I couldn’t make a fist for two weeks. Pepper pulls when Daisy pulls. So now they get separate walks.

I try to exercise. Zumba is my new favorite thing. I sing in a chorus. I sing in a jazz group. I used to sing in a sextet, but I had to let that one go for now.

I am my own gardener. The 47-year old hedge needs to be trimmed again. My girl Friday (she comes on Mondays) brings her chain saw. The neighbors loaned me their green cans, all except the grump on the corner.
Don’t complain about my uneven hedge and then refuse me your green can, lady.

My taxes are due. My sister’s taxes are due. No one filed a return on her behalf last year. No one did a lot of things.

My friends pity me. They think I’ve ruined my life. My life is very busy, thank you very much. No, I don’t want to try online dating. No, I don’t want you to write my profile for me. Yes, I will come to your parties. Please don’t stop asking.

My life might look bleak to you, but it’s not. I am writing more than ever. My latest children’s book just won a big award (for the illustrator, not me the writer, but it still counts).
Yes, I am still purging inventory. Yes, my tolerance level is different than yours. No, I’m not crazy, just working toward long-term goals.

It’s just the beginning of my retirement, you see. What’s the rush? Isn’t the whole point to change things up and do it at your own pace?

As for drinking four, five, six, seven times a week, I’m not into that. Plus, it would make me fat.
So this is retirement. So far, so good. Ask me when I’m eighty if I have any regrets.

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