I wanted to title this “Retirement Advice” but a long time ago, I read the best advice ever: “My advice is never to give advice.” I thought it was a quote from Margaret Thatcher, but it could be from any number of wise people. So I’ll go with recommendations and, as I approach the one-year anniversary of my retirement, it’s as good a time as ever to take stock of the first year.
– Get the things on your bucket list done in the first six months. I’ve talked before of the retirement fog that descends and steals several hours out of each day. Each month, the fog lasts longer. If I don’t get something done by noon, it’s 6 p.m. before I regain consciousness.
– Stock up on toilet paper. When you’re home every day, it gets used up five times as quickly.
– Don’t make a housework schedule – it won’t work. I had lofty ideas of cleaning bathrooms on Monday, the kitchen on Tuesday, and so on. I even bought a fancy ceiling fan brush. I do far less housework than I thought I would. It’s not exactly to the point that I wait until I can write my name in the dust, but almost.
– I do far more laundry than I ever thought possible. It’s quicker to toss clothes in the laundry basket than fold and rehang. But I did learn one very important lesson: Modern fabric rarely runs. I no longer sort laundry into lights and darks. Whatever’s in the basket goes into the machine and I’ve been lucky so far and Cedric doesn’t yet have any splotchy T-shirts. That fact revolutionized my life, actually.
– Don’t upgrade to a new computer; or if you do, do so before your current machine becomes an antique (i.e. no more than five years). I blogged before about my Apple migration issues and they didn’t completely resolve. Having a dedicated Apple techie was a big help and I was impressed that I could email Anthony direct and ask him to call me at a specific time but I still had to move a lot to a hard drive. He told me he was confident I could do that myself without having to go to an Apple store, so I spent a whole afternoon moving photos, documents and music onto the drive. Unfortunately, the music albums had to be moved one at a time but then populated individually, so I have thousands of songs not grouped by album. As I didn’t remember even having most of the music, it’s not a big deal.
– You can recycle your old Apple devices. After wiping my old laptop, I have sent it off and eagerly await receipt of some dollars once the recycle company determines if there is any value left. The exercise was very easy; they send you a box and free shipping label; and easy-to-follow instructions. I only had to call them once … the last instruction shows you a screen shot of what you should finally see, but that’s it. They should add – Then Switch Off. Faced with a screen that asked me to log in, I wasn’t sure what to do.
– Once your body clock adjusts, make sure to set your alarm if you have to be anywhere before 10 a.m.
– There’s a check mark against most of my bucket list items. I sorted my baking pans; tossed numerous measuring spoons (quite why I had so many, I don’t know); purged my recipe folders (quite why I cut every recipe out of the newspaper when I have so many cookbooks, I don’t know); made a new cover for my beloved ironing board; finished my Gypsy Wife Quilt, including the backing (typically you use just one fabric for the backing of a quilt but I pieced lots of bits of fabric together to use up more scraps (quite why I had so much fabric, I don’t know – except that with quilters, she who dies with the most fabric wins); purged hangers (I know, I know – she who dies with the most etc. etc.).
– I’m reading Les Miserables in a marvelous translation. There are more than 300 chapters so I followed a recommendation to read one chapter a day and finish it in a year. I’ll miss my target but plan to finish during 2018.
– I’ve found an outlet for my love of baking. I missed taking goodies into the office, but I’ve joined a Women’s Bible Study group and they are delighted when I bring in yummies each week.
– One of my biggest accomplishments is taking piano lessons. I just started and will have my third lesson this week. It’s pretty pitiful so far but I can gingerly plonk away at Jingle Bells, Puff the Magic Dragon and a couple of other simple tunes. I waited for a wonderful singer/pianist, Nancy, to retire from her day job. We met Nancy a long time ago when she was the music director at the first church we attended when we moved to Atlanta. She did give me one bit of advice: Just enjoy it. And I’m taking that advice wholeheartedly and following it every day of my enjoyable retirement.