Life is hard when you’re retired. Today’s forecast was for a high of 67 (19.5 C) with ample sunshine and little to no wind. The next few days are to be even warmer. This is not normal for the end of October/beginning of November around here. What to do?
I planned on a bike ride for the afternoon. Two friends/neighbors were busy. I raked leaves this morning as it warmed up. Getting the rake out of the garage, the kayak called my name. I can ride my bike tomorrow and/or Wednesday when friends are available. The water won for Monday.
At a paddling workshop I learned you should dress for the water temperature, not the air temperature. That advice is so you are always prepared for a dunking. On a calm day on known waters, the chances of that were pretty slim. I was overdressed. The local paddling shop is having a moving sale. I bought a waterproof phone case with a lanyard, which gave me the confidence to take pictures as I paddled. If I were to drop the phone it wouldn’t sink and it would stay dry. You can take pictures through the case (more of a heavy-duty plastic bag), as you can see above.
I turned downstream to the lake. Hugging the shore I came into a nasty algae bloom, rendering the water opaque and pea soup green. I moved farther out into the lake and made my way across to Olbrich Park. As I neared the beach there, the water got thick again so I turned back to the middle. My paddling route was pretty close to my skiing route from last January’s post.
I firmly believe that retirement takes training. I have said many times that retirement, like voting, should be done early and often. I also think beliefs are like freckles. If you look closely, most of us have a few and having a bunch doesn’t make you better. (And are liver spots [or age spots] just big freckles?) Or maybe I believe that beliefs are like diapers and should be changed often. I definitely believe that beliefs are like selves and shouldn’t be taken too seriously.
I’ve been working (with a few breaks, or practice retirements) since 1965. On June 4, I will walk out of the hospital at around 1500 (that’s 3 pm to normal people) for the last time after 23 years. I won’t be going back to that job, or maybe any job.
How to train for what’s next? For 9 weeks, I will ride my bike 6 days a week. That oughta help me get used to not going to work. You train by doing what you plan to do. I don’t want to sit on my ass and watch TV while drinking beer, so that’s not what I’ll train.
Without a structure after that, I’ll have to create one. I want to ride at least 4 days a week year ’round so I will plan that. Exercise just happens now – it’s how I get to and from work. It won’t just happen after this trip.
Sunday morning was a hard freeze. We hit the road with the temperature near the freezing point and rode a leisurely 37 miles. By the time we got home it was a summery 45 degrees (7 C). If we didn’t have days like this, I couldn’t justify the tights, fleece jersey, and shoe covers I bought. The only thing green was the winter wheat.
I have tasks that have been on a to-do list for years (like replacing 106 year old putty that is falling out of windows, replacing sash cords – I was amazed that all sash cords were intact when we bought this house 26 years ago [that is no longer the case], and repairing/replacing the plaster wall that my daughter kicked a hole in years ago), and will need to make a schedule so I actually do some of those while I still can.
I bought a kayak in preparation for retirement. It needs to spend much more time in the water than it has. It needs to see water farther from home.
I bought an espresso machine because I figured that was cheaper, in the long run, than hanging out in coffee shops with the other retirees. It may not be cheaper than just brewing coffee at home, but it sure tastes better.
I bought a new lens for my camera, hoping to get out in the donzerly light when I don’t have to get to work. Maybe I can capture some of that early morning magic to have more than memories and mental images to share here. And I won’t be limited to the route from here to work.
I figured that whatever I thought I would need/want in retirement, I would buy while still working; so the training has been going on for a few years.
BK (Before Kids) I served on the boards of a few organizations and volunteered for others. Most of that was not part of any Grand Plan – it arose and I did it. Maybe I’ll do that again. [And it wasn’t all BK – I spent 8 years on the board of their daycare center.]
The university here allows old folks to audit courses without charge. It’s part of the Wisconsin Idea. (Also here.) Maybe I’ll go back to school when it is safe.
It’s a funny thing about work. Over time, you come to define yourself by what you do, not by who you are. I have the advantage of having done many things, so that definition has some flexibility. I am an Occupational Therapist, but I was a plumber before that and a co-op manager before that. Something has been constant through those career changes. Am I still in touch with what that is? Vamos a ver.