Working Vacation

Since we left on vacation on Wednesday, I have replied to about 30 emails from the regulatory board of which I am the chairperson. Husband has had phone calls and emails  from tribal court and from the addiction treatment center on the reservation where he works. Daughter is somewhat annoyed with us. I can’t blame her.  Really, vacation should be more like this:

I do not plan to work after I retire.  I need to keep telling myself this so that I don’t work after I retire. I need to spend retirement having  photo ops with enormous, two-legged garlic bulbs.

If you are retired, is retirement what you imagined? If you are not retired, what do you imagine retirement will be like?

42 thoughts on “Working Vacation”

  1. I’ve actually been thinking a lot about retirement lately. 8 people in the travel division retired this summer (out of 200), so that’s made me think about it. I’m kind of hoping that retirement for me is going to be a lot like staycation for me. I’ll have a cleaner house. I’ll have time to volunteer at more places where I would like to volunteer. And some more travel (on my own, not travel for business.)

    And maybe more days at the State Fair. YA and I are off in about an hour to see bunnies and cows and dogs and to eat things on sticks.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I didn’t think much about retirement when I was younger. I didn’t feel capable of predicting a future complicated by so many variables. Frankly, I don’t think of myself as a retired person. Instead, my life is now defined by health issues I failed to anticipate. I do have a lot of time on my hands (in one sense of that phrase), which can be good or can be challenging.

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  3. I have heard this phrase many times – “I am busier now than when I was working” – and for me it is true. I retired (early) from hospital nursing over nine years ago and don’t miss it one bit. I did love my career until the last couple of years, when major changes kept coming fast and furious. Music is one of my passions. Even before retiring, I volunteered as a choir accompanist at my niece’s middle school. After retiring, I have expanded music opportunities to a nearly full time job during the school year- at the peak, I was accompanying groups at two middle schools and one private children’s choir, singing in my church choir, accompanying rehearsals of said choir, and had one adult (friend) piano student. I love being busy but my schedule was ridiculous – all my own doing as I have a hard time saying “no”. I have since “retired” from one of the schools and my friend decided to stop pursuing the piano. I do manage to fit both domestic and international travel, regular theater, and other fun activities into my life year round. With the exception of a one week music day camp, I leave the music stuff alone in the summer and kick back a bit. The kids may not be looking forward to a return to the classroom but I am excited to get back to rehearsals and work with the best music teachers ever.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. You are right, K-two, that many retirees report being busier than ever. I want to believe they are busy with things they chose to do and not just obligatory chores. An easy prediction about retirement for people who post on this site is that many will have (and enjoy) more time for gardening.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Addendum: One of the first things I did after retirement is get a library card. In the past nine years I have checked out and read nearly 400 books! Did I mention that reading is also one of my passions?

    Liked by 5 people

    1. IMHO, no ne should wait for retirement to get a library card. I think I have had one for about five decades, and did not need to be retired to use it well and often.

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  5. As of this spring, all of my siblings have retired. I am the youngest by 8 years and we asked our financial guy if I could retire in 8 years. “Maybe” was his answer. See what the economy does. Which could certainly mean they won’t all stay retired.
    A couple different people at the college have recently mentioned retiring in a few years.
    (I have goals of outlasting a few specific people. 1 down, 1 to go.)

    I don’t think ‘retirement’ as much as how long will I be able to climb ladders and build sets.

    I went to see the orthopedic foot surgeon last month. He has said I should look into ankle fusion at some point. And I have been looking at maybe next summer I could plan 3 months for that.
    Anyone here had that done?
    But he tells me “There’s a lot going on with your foot.”. Yeah, been ‘broke’ for 40 years.
    Ankle fusion is part of it but most likely would need a second surgery to get the foot straightened out after that. Oh, uh… I’m not sure I can fit that in my life right now.
    How’s that go? I haven’t got time to be sick right now!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I wonder how often retirement turns out the way people expect it will. The classic image of endless free time to do all the things you want assumes near freedom from encumberances—that you won’t be assisting aged parents or helping your kids or their kids through emergencies, that your health will still hold and, as we know, that can change on a dime, that your spouse is healthy, that your friends are still healthy (or at least still alive), and that your money will hold out for an unknown number of years no matter what fate throws your way.

    Since I have been independent and working mostly at home for the last 22 years, my “retirement” isn’t as clear cut as if I commuted to a workplace every day and then one day just stopped. I continue to work occasionally because I can and because it enables me to postpone dipping into my savings as long as possible. It also allows me to be more casual about impulse expenditures.

    I’m not working that much, though, and I should be enjoying the sort of retirement I imagined at least some of the time. I had imagined I might spend more time painting and drawing, maybe take some foreign language classes, maybe practice an instrument and certainly travel more. Instead my time has gone to caretaking elderly parents, babysitting grandchildren, helping my kids with various issues around their home and my little bit of working. Admittedly, I don’t use my time as well as I did when I was younger and my energy is less, but it’s an open question whether things will change enough to allow the sort of retirement I imagined while I’m still able to enjoy it.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Best part of our retirement has been the caring for kids part. There at need and giving them a fun time with us. I think they will have about us those good kinds of memories about grandparents. Lily had always planned to go to college here and live in an apartment in our building, which is a compliment. I think she has forgotten that plan. No ag at MSU-M.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I never really knew three of my four grandparents and so I fully appreciate how irreplaceable it is to get to know your grandchildren and them you. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Still, if I am honest, I didn’t expect retirement to entail quite so much childcare.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I only knew one slightly, and that was too much. We have not been asked to do too much, at least for us. Now we go over during the school year when both parents have to attend church events together. We make them supper and drive time to and from activities. A long way from child care at their age.

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        2. I knew four of my five grandparents. Long story. But there was never any childcare involved because both my grandmothers worked when I was a kid. One grandmother was an accountant and the other one was a real estate agent.

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  7. I’ve been retired eleven years now. The first five or six, I spent a lot of time volunteering on a schedule for various organizations. After my fall in 2012, my volunteer work is much more limited and not on a regular schedule. This gives me much more flexibility to do things when I feel like it or have the energy for it. I love being retired!

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  8. I’m nearing 4 years of retirement. I had made a list of all the things I was going to be able to do when I had the time, Cleaner house? sorta. Time to read, which often leads to a nap. Time to garden, yes. Time to be with my animals, yes…finally got on my horse this summer. I do some volunteer work with the local historical society, Sons of Norway…but mostly I appreciate the time to be at home after so many years away. I reluctantly get back in the car to go do errands, less reluctantly to lunch/dinner/socialize with friends. Not inclined to travel yet…but perhaps will come a time. Since my hip replacement last spring, I have renewed energy and appreciation for just day to day to day to day.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I am more absorbed with family history, I think, than anyone else who posts here. Maybe it is an obsession. When I wrote a book about my parents I gave a lot of thought to my grandparents. I think I know them uncommonly well.

    My dad’s parents were an odd couple. My paternal grandmother was sweet, surprisingly accomplished and loving. She died before I got to know her well. What I know of her mostly comes from my father’s memoir. My paternal grandfather was a cranky, peevish sort of fellow who harbored prejudices against women, blacks, “queers” and others. My father didn’t like his own dad, which says a lot.

    My mother’s parents were odder by far. My maternal grandfather was a classic avuncular, friendly old guy. His favorite expression was a word that reflected his astonishment at how the world was going. “Garsh!” he would say. “Garsh!” His gentle, orderly facade hid his sexual obsession. I’ll always remember that I called him a “horny old goat” in one of my early posts on this site. Barb from Blackwood replied to suggest I had impugned the world of goats by comparing my grandfather to them.

    My maternal grandmother was one of the most original characters I have ever known. She had some odd beliefs (like you can cure hiccups by carefully saying “white horse”) and strange habits. I liked her well enough, but I’m sure that if she had been my mother instead of my grandmother that I’d be a weirder person than I am. Just five feet tall, my grandmother wore high heels to compensate. One result is that her ankles changed until she had to wear heels all the time to keep from going backwards when she walked. She was one of a kind.

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  10. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    I have not yet decided when to retire or if I will at all, or just kind of fade out in the same way that Bill mentions above. After I sold my practice people kept telling me I was retired, so I have claimed semi-retirement. I still work part time and I enjoy keeping my mind active and involved with whatever engages me. I have all I want right now—I get to set my work schedule and leave to travel when I feel like it. 🙂

    I am not interested in being sedentary. If I am struck with an illness that causes me to be sedentary, I am sure I would be unpleasant and difficult to care for, and I hope I will not last long in such a condition.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I am pleased that the regulatory board emails and tribal phone calls have ceased since Friday and it feels like a vacation. Our 9 course dinner took place last evening. It was delightful, made even better by hearing one of our table mates, an Oxford trained barrister, describe what it was like to get fitted for tbe white curly wig she wears in court.

    Liked by 5 people

  12. OT a few of you will like: my family and their two guests are in Diagon Ally. Mr. Tuxedo, who is a huge money saver, gave in and bought a Hogwarts robe. They bought his buddy guest a wand.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. OT: PJ informs me that the baboons attempted to deliver some flowers to me here in the hospital, only to find a sign on my door stating that flowers, fruit, and plants are forbidden. Thanks for trying, baboons, it means a lot to me.

    I can have visitors, as long as they won’t infect me with cold germs or worse. Emails are also welcome. And luckily chocolate is not on the forbidden list. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Yes indeed, and it seemed like magic. Just a few minutes after I made the comment above, I came back from a short walk around the halls and was met at my door by the chocolate fairy herself. Thanks so much.

        Liked by 3 people

  14. When I was working full time, I imagined retirement to be a blissful state of waking up each morning with the freedom to do anything I wanted. Go to a museum, art fair, zoo, musical or theater event, whatever. I am now working approximately half time, but I can already see that the vision I had will never be a reality. I have a mishmash of medical appointments, part time work, self-employed jobs, volunteer commitments, and other obligations to juggle, along with the usual housekeeping tasks, and it’s probably not going to get much better. I’ll probably always have to work, not so much for the money, but to have access to health insurance that covers what I need. Don’t see any way to get out of that.

    I’m glad, though, that I gave up the 40-hour week about seventeen years ago. I’ve had many more opportunities to use my time in other ways. The downside to that is that people assume, if you’re not committed to a 40-hour-a-week job, that you don’t have to work at all. My friends will occasionally make references to me being retired, and I have to remind them that I’m still working half time or so. I have flexibility, but it’s not unlimited.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Many truisms above. I’ve been retired for the past 10 years, and have yet to experience a cleaner house… I learned that most of those “chores” I’d put off till retirement didn’t magically get done. I did organize photos once, but still haven’t gotten “weeding the flower beds” accomplished on any kind of regular basis.

    I enjoy volunteering for things I am interested in – mainly singing and dance activities, and social justice causes. But there are SO MANY opportunities available here that I’ve really had to begin to say no, and be a little more choosy. Esp. since many hours a week go to visiting my mom, and helping our friend W.

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  16. OT: I don’t have cable TV at home but do here in this deluxe hotel. I’m kinda bored, tired, and not very mobile due to being tethered to an IV. Any suggestions on what channel to watch?

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      1. It’s hard to tell what some of the channels are when they just have 3 letters. I guess I just need to try them to see what they are.

        I do know enough to avoid Fox news…

        Liked by 2 people

  17. Retirement for me these last 2 years is learning to adjust to new reality and expectations since spouse health issues limit us from what we originally envisioned- travel, hiking etc. Moving to a supportive senior community downtown has helped as has learning meditation, Pilates reformer, volunteer work, playing the piano more. Kate Morton in the The Forgotten Garden, said ” You make a life out of what you have, not what you are missing.” I am trying to do that.

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