Tag Archives: retirement

Every day is an adventure.

It has been nearly four years since I retired. I’m not really sure how I thought my retirement would be. But I’m pretty sure that I would have attacked retirement just like I have every other stage of my life–full steam ahead and don’t look back!  In no time at all, I would have taken on enough commitments to fill a forty-hour workweek, and beyond.  Fortunately, our current situation has saved me from all that. It has helped me to learn to live one day at a time–not thinking and planning for a future–but enjoying each moment of today.

I say, “our situation” because whatever we face, we are in this together. I know that friends and family members think  what I am dealing with is very challenging. But I am not sure that I have the most difficult challenge. Craig is not able to articulate what he is going through, so there is no way to fully understand. But it must be frightening at times to face a world that he doesn’t seem to fit into any more. He should know how things work and what to do, but the fact is he doesn’t. He doesn’t understand why I have to wait at a red light. He doesn’t understand why he can’t open a package of food in a store and eat it without paying. I’m sure he has no idea why I’m upset when he does that. It must seem to him that the world is a very confusing place.

That’s why we are spending more and more time at home. He is comfortable and confident there. He marches through the house saying , “Hup, hup, hup, hup! He goes out the back door and around to the front door where he rings the doorbell over and over. While this is annoying at times, it seems to make him happy.  He roams our acreage and finds things to entertain himself, giving me a chance to do what I need to do. This is the world he likes to be in–our world.

Craig’s brother, Mark, stayed with Craig for a few days while I attended docent training at the Highlands Center. Mark described it as “hours of butt-numbing boredom interrupted by seconds of gut-wrenching terror.” I agree there are times when things get a little scary. Like the time Craig followed the claims adjuster up the ladder onto the roof. It was probably only a few minutes, but it seemed like hours trying to coax him back down the ladder. Then there was the time when he put the grill cover back on the gas grill while food was cooking on it. Or the countless times when I’ve lost him in stores and amusement parks and while hiking.

Yes, I agree with the terrifying part, but not the boredom. I have plenty to do around here. Just in case I might get bored, Craig keeps me on my toes. There’s always a mystery to solve– Where is the power cord for the television?  Why did he squirt chocolate syrup all over? What happened to that screwdriver I was just using? Bored–NEVER! As I like to say, “Every day is an adventure.”

A “Rosey” Future

birthday cakeToday is my birthday. I’m sixty-seven years old. That means that for at least two years, I have been a senior by any definition used by any store, restaurant, or movie theater. My status as a senior affords me plenty of perks and I try to take advantage of as many as I can.

One of the first things I noticed when I retired was that time seemed to slow down. This was a surprise because I was expecting quite the opposite. When I was teaching, I was always looking forward to something in the future–the next long weekend, fall break, etc. Being retired is like being on fall break, immediately followed by winter break, before beginning spring break, which takes me to summer break and then back to fall break. Actually, I love that aspect of retirement. The only problem is, there’s no urgency to get things done–There’s always tomorrow. (Well, maybe that isn’t really a problem.)

Fortunately, I am enjoying excellent health and vitality. That allows me to do most anything I want to do. I think a lot of seniors have bucket lists. Before I retired, I had three things on my list. The first was to finish reading the Bible cover to cover. I had been working at it for a few years, but after retiring, I was able to accomplish that in a few months. The second item on my list was to become a docent at the Highland Center. I have been doing that for two years. Finally, I wanted to go on a fifteen-day cruise to Hawaii. Since I’ve made my reservations for that trip, my bucket list is empty. Now I’m busy working on a new list. At the top is hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and camping over night. I hope to do that in March or April.

Recently, I found this picture of me standing with my two Scan_20150714grandmothers. I must be about three or four years old. I estimate that my grandmothers are in their fifties. (They are my namesakes–Mary on the left and Rose on the right.) What amazed me most about this picture is how matronly they look. It’s the way women their age dressed at that time. Grandmas today are much flashier dressers, of course, but it also reflects our attitude. We aren’t ready to fade into the background.

As we Baby Boomers are reaching retirement age, we are redefining what that means. As we have done atBrenna and me every stage of life, we are establishing ourselves as a force to be reckoned with. Not ready to be put out to pasture, we are taking on new challenges and new careers. My cousin, Ken and his wife, Katie, for example just launched a new career selling real estate.

For me, my retirement career is writing children’s books. Although I have not sold enough books for the IRS to consider it a business, I do see it that way. I work hard not only at writing books but also at promoting them. The competition out there is fierce and as every writer knows, we must pay our dues before achieving success–if success ever comes. Because I believe in what I’m doing, I will press on whatever the outcome. If my books aren’t discovered until after I’m gone, I’ll be okay with that. At least I’ll have my legacy.

And so, today, on my birthday, it seems appropriate to reflect not so much on my past successes or failures, but on my future which I think looks rosy indeed.