Monday, August 5, 2013

New Revelations

My retirement is only two months old, a mere babe, yet it has already revealed new lessons I did not  anticipate.

  • Some people are looking to put me quickly back into the workforce- I've worked steadily, sometimes more than one job at once, since I was 16. Now that I'm retired, I'm taking a few months off,  just to explore life in the gentler, slower lane. Although I'm not looking at all, I've had four firm job offers already, including an adjunct professor position. That hasn't stopped a beloved older relative from sending me job openings from the classifieds, including an entry level fry cook at McDonald's, a mosquito collector and tester for the agriculture department, and a farm laborer's job, including but not limited to building barbed wire fences.
  •  New emails- My inbox is suddenly filled with daily offers for adult diapers, motorized scooters, and ways to enlarge, enhance, and invigorate a body part I do not have. Retirement evidently makes a person incontinent, immobile, and a man.
  • Lion hunting- I've taken up kickboxing (although I do it only for the fitness aspect and not for the particular idea of hitting or kicking anyone). A recent vigorous session with my trainer, punctuated with loud thwacks from each punch and kick, drew several foreign born university students into the gym, where they watched until we finished. One enthusiastically told me how in his country in times past,  older women like me would have been thought of as warriors who could lead tribal lion hunts. Hmmm. Still not sure how to take that...
  • No senior citizen discounts- Being retired and being eligible for senior citizen discounts are not synonymous. My non- retired husband asked the cashier at the movies if we could get the senior citizen discount now because I am retired. (He is all about frugality.) Being carded and not being old enough somehow has a different feel to it than it did in teenager-hood.
  • A fountain of youth- repeated remarks from former co-workers about how much younger I look now that I am retired make me wonder how elderly I actually did look when I was working.
Now, friends, for you are are retired, what is the biggest surprise you had when you retired? And for you who are not retired, what is one thing about retirement that causes you to wonder?

74 comments:

  1. That about the lion hunter tribal warrior just cracked me up. As with your hubby wanting the retiree's discount. Tell him, don't rush it. It'll come quick enough then he'll be wanting to be young again ...trust me.

    And then, "beloved older relative from sending me openings from the classifieds" I literally laughed out loud. This is too funny. Family...can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em.

    The biggest surprise when I retired? Well, the one thing I could NOT get used to was being able to get up when I wanted, go when I wanted, travel during the daytime hours in the middle of the week...anything of that nature. It was actually, truly, having no fixed schedule that surprised me the most.

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    1. HOOTIN ANNI: Oh, that's been something I still haven't wrapped my mind around- the freedom in the day! Not that I have anything against it. It's a wonderful, wonderful aspect of it!

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  2. My 13 y.o. daughter was just asking me today about when I'll be retired. I didn't know exactly what she was thinking because I am not a paid employee, but she said, "You'll be 65 in 10 years. Don't you get some money or something?"

    Thanks for the laughs! This is very funny! :)

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    1. Anita: Now that's cute! I have found that what my teen thinks retirement is and what it is in reality are two very different things~

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    2. Anita: I saw your comment on my earlier post, and it won't let me reply there, but the link on my weight loss post is here: http://shellysm.blogspot.com/2011/06/losing-167-pounds-and-finding-more-of.html

      Thank you for asking!

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    3. And Julie's story is pretty amazing, too!

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  3. I'm not retired but as I grow older and continue working from home I notice I have difficulty remembering the day of the week. Weekends don't have the same old magic as they once did.

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    1. Stephen: My usually keen sense of the week has dissipated. I can't believe Friday came and went without even so much as a celebration from me~

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  4. I was forcefully retired at 63yrs old after a fall where I badly injured both knees. I grieved not to be running around a hospital Emergency Dept. Ray doesn't want me away from home for long periods, so I do small voluntary activities. This morning I go to a local school to serve breakfast for the children sent with none. I try to go out to coffee with a person I can encourage and give friendship to.
    In the U.S. I was the voluntary, non paid counselor for my church.
    In Oz we get a senior discount card when we reach sixty. Even Ray has one and he is not a citizen. I am now on the Age pension which gives me all my medications from the pharmacy for $6 and doctors at a large reduction, Ex-rays, MRI's and C.T.s and Public Hospitals are free.... HOWEVER, I still miss my work. I keep up my registration in case I ever decide to work part time again. I am sure you will find where you are meant to be. Take your time, God may have something special coming for you. xxx

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    1. Crystal Mary: You are a wonderful example of a fruitful retirement. I know you must be a blessing to all those in your vicinity. I hope to do the same, in time, in mine!

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  5. Those emails would drive me batty. Too bad you can't kick box the emails away...

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    1. Lydia: Now THAT'S a great thought!

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  6. I had no big surprises when I retired a few years ago. I love to garden, exercise, read, spend time with family, attend church, and write and all of these activities continue. I added volunteer work to the mix and continue to have lunch with friends. I don't want or need to work, and am happy letting the younger folks have the jobs. Unemployment is high so I know jobs are appreciated.

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    1. Terra: You sound like you've found a terrific mix. I mainly want to keep my mind going so it doesn't waste away, what there is left of it! But I am going to only go for something if it seems like the right fit, and it sounds like you've found your right fit.

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  7. Maybe the kickboxing makes you a Bad-Ass Warrior Woman like L.G. Smith writes about :)

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    1. Carol: Ha! I love it! Although I think I only would scare myself-

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  8. Talk about emails, wait until you start getting telephone calls. I learned a lot because my husband is retired. I guess I will not have too many surprises when I stop working all together. I still say, enjoy your time off before you take that part time job.

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    1. Munir: Yes, my friend, I love your advice!

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  9. I think one of my big surprises was how quickly the anticipated free time filled up. I have enjoyed the freedom of making my schedule, being available for our kids and grand kids, but some days I wonder what happened and what did I actually accomplish that day because I had been used to seeing at the end of the day what I had accomplished.

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    1. Nonnie: That's funny you should mention that, because just yesterday I was telling my husband I realized I was unconsciously giving myself measurable tasks/ goals so I could see the fruit of my labor at the end of the day. It's a whole new way of thinking, isn't it?

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  10. I loved this post, Shelly: especially the wealth of employment opportunities and suggestions as well as the lion-hunting aspects of your new elder status! And how wonderful to be carded -- and found too young for something -- despite your retired status! You're so fortunate to be able to retire while you're still young enough to kick box and enjoy all life has to offer.

    My retirement surprises? Well, I was prepared to tell myself (as my Aunt Molly had every day of her retirement) "Today is mine!" but I couldn't have imagined the deep joy of having full control over my time and my life. Like you, I worked multiple jobs for many years and hadn't realized the toll it had taken until I stopped. It is delicious to sleep in --until 7:30 if I choose -- or to get up at dawn but linger over coffee. My biggest surprise, though, has been, after three years of retirement, how much I really miss some aspects of work: feeling connected and making a difference. So now I'm engaged in finding ways to do that not only through my writing but also in doing for friends and others in the community.

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    1. Dr. Kathy: I love how you've made such a meaningful way for yourself in retirement. I can see how the disconnect would happen, as you mention, and I'm going to be mindful to reach out in new ways, just as you do. And I do feel so very blessed!

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  11. I've had several post retirement surprises.

    1. I also had a few job offers. One was to do the same type of work on a consultant basis, for more money, working far less hours. If my wife hadn't retired on the same day, I might have taken it for while.

    2. I'm totally surprised at how time has slowed down! I thought it was going to do the opposite.

    3. To retire at the same time I did, my wife retired almost five years early. Of course, it greatly affected our financial situation, but it worked. We've found that we spend a lot less money since we retired without really trying.

    4. I seem more busy now, than when I worked.

    5. I actually do what I want, when I want and where I want. We bought an RV and we were concerned that we wouldn't use it much (like most people). Instead, we are in it at lest a third of the time and love it.

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    1. Pat: I loved reading these, and they were great eye openers. I'm so glad you and your wife were able to retire together, even at a financial penalty. My husband is going to work quite a few more years, and so in the meantime, I dream about those days to come!

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  12. My biggest surprise? I was surprised that I really and truly did not miss having a job! (But, as in your case, the friends were greatly concerned about my state of "idleness.") My stock answer to the question "What do you do with yourself?! is "Whatever I want." It has served me well for twenty-three years now.

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    1. vanilla: "Whatever I want," is the grandest answer ever to any retirement question!

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  13. I love your new emails and really all the new things you learned. Enjoy retirement!

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    1. Sandie: Thank you! It's been wonderful so far!

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  14. Of all the things I imagined you doing in your retirement, lion hunting was not even close to being on that list. My mother is retiring soon, and I can't wait to suggest she take up kickboxing so she can be a lion hunter, too!

    As a stay-at-home mom, I am also asked what we do all day. "Whatever we want!" is my favorite answer.

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    1. Amy: Ha! I love your answer. And I hope to never have to use any type of skills, especially kickboxing, in hunting lions, period!!!

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  15. Oh Shelly you make me laugh. I am not sure if or when a farmer gets to retire but I am hoping:) B

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    1. Buttons: Oh, I hope so, too, my friend!

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  16. PS....Shelly, I thought of you this morning when I typed that little spiel at the end of my hodgepodge post...the cowboy's idea...just please, don't take it personally. It was a copy/paste from an email I rec'd.

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  17. Leading the lion hunt--now that's a vision! :)

    My body forced me into early "retirement"--and that's a whole 'nother can of worms. Be glad you are fit as a fiddle, my dear, and do whatever you really want to do!! Whoohoo!! :)

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    1. Rita: Even if I had the guts to do it, I don't like hunting! (Although my husband is an avid hunter.) I already love the freedom I have!

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  18. Funny but true! Loved the post, Shelly!

    Nas

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    1. Nas: Thank you! I almost took this post down, so I appreciate your kind words!

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  19. Shelly, I do believe that was a wonderful compliment from that young man on your potential as a lion hunter ... to youngsters, anyone over thirty is "old" - so ... pfft! to any other interpretations :) It is so good to hear you are enjoying retirement so much.

    When I read the comments of your readers who are retired or stay-at-home moms, and hear that they are asked "what they do" all day, it reminds me of this story ... When the husband came home from work each day, he asked his wife what she did all day at home. She always said, "Oh, nothing much" ... Then came the day she wasn't feeling well and spent the day in bed ... When her husband arrived home that day, he looked around at the somewhat messy home and wondered what on earth had happened. His wife said, "You know that "nothing" I usually do all day? Today I didn't do it!"

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    1. jenny_o: Oh, I laughed and laughed and laughed! That's a great story, and pretty true! And as far as lion hunting, well, I guess it could have been worse-

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  20. Dear Shelly, thanks so much for stopping by my blog today and leaving a comment. It's so good to be back in the swing of things.

    I read your two-part Escape story and like those people who are "quickly trying to put" you "back to work," I'm encouraging you--ever and always--to consider writing: a novel that would have as its seed your great-grandparents or a memoir of your great-grandmother. (Perhaps something like Rick Bragg's memoir about his mother--"All Over But the Shoutin'"--or his memoir about another family member--"Ava's Man.") Or you could simply put your considerable skills into writing a contemporary novel that stems from teaching or the experiences of students who have touched your life and whose lives you have touched. None of this has to happen now or soon. But I do hope that some day you might consider this.

    As to something about me that know one knows--the question you asked in the posting before this most recent one: I used to bear small dangly ear rings, but recently a child I've come to know gave me a pair of long (2") ear rings. I'd never worn ones like that because I thought my neck was too short. Well I put these on, looked in the mirror, and discovered a new aspect of my personality! I liked the way I looked! Peace.

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    1. Dee: So glad you are back in blogland! I love, love, love earrings, long ones, big hoops- I just love them all. I'm glad you found some long ones you like- they really do light up a face.

      And thank you, Dee, more than you know, for your continual support of my writing. I do have a germ of an idea for something I want to do, and I hope somehow I can frame it properly. Maybe, just maybe!

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  21. Retirement was what allowed me to keep my head above water after my husband died.

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    1. Lorna: I'm so glad your retirement was there to help you through that very difficult time~

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  22. Good for you for taking up kick boxing! I take zumba and I love it!

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    1. menopausal mama: Zumba is great fun!

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  23. I remember my dad saying when he retired that he thought a special noticed must had gone out to companies telling them he had retired as he started to get emails about being a senior citizen and such. He was like how do they know I am retired if you had heard him go on it would had cracked you up

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    1. Jo-Anne: I wish I DID know how they find us- your dad asks a very good question!

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  24. Shelly, How terrific are you? both fun and fitness in the first two months! Wow. And yes, that whole discount thing is a bit of a bummer, but it is also a little disconcerting when you finally do qualify for it. Then you are not sure you want it - just sayin'.... :)

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    1. Marsha: My husband is so eagerly anticipating the day we will qualify for senior discounts that I think he has a countdown app for it. I do hope he's not disappointed, because I know it will be hard for me to swallow!

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  25. You must be quite sought-after! Are you considering working part time in retirement? I personally think that a career in education has given you the right to completely relax in retirement. Don't go lion hunting! I don't want to be reading about you in the news :)

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    1. Optimistic: No worries ever about me lion hunting! Ha! And I do eventually want to work part time because I think I'd go daffy if I didn't~

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  26. Oh Shelly, you are a warrior for sure!! Call me when you go on a lion hunt, I'd love to see you in action!

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    1. Saimi: The only place I might be hunting lions is if there's an app on my phone for the game!

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  27. Retirement was forced on me when I couldn't get a job. Someone suggested I could be a greeter at Wal-Mart. Not happening. I like my retirement with a little editing on the side.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Janie: I think you've made a mighty fine lemonade out of the lemons lobbed your way, my friend~

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  28. I think you might want to consider taking the job as the lion huntress. How cool would that look on a resume!

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    1. Missed Periods: Only if it's a stuffed lion...

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  29. 'Retirement evidently makes a person incontinent, immobile, and a man.' This cracked me up! :D

    Congratulations for your retirement. And I am happy for you that you took up kickboxing :)

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    1. Manju: Thank you for stopping by! It's surprised me that kickboxing is so much fun- a pleasant surprise!

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  30. Congrats on all of the job offers, even if you do not take any. It's a testament to what people think of your skills and personality, so hooray for you, my friend.

    I'd like to take a kickboxing class as well although, unlike you, I *would* take it with the particular thought of kicking someone. Ha ha. J/K, depending on the day... ;-)

    Be well...

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    1. Janette Dolores: I'm not going to lie- sometimes it's kind of fun to imagine things during the kickboxing!

      It really is fun, though, and such a great workout. If you ever get the chance, give it a try~ you might find you really like it like I do!

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  31. You're so fortunate Shelly to be getting job offers. There are so many people looking for work these day. Think carefully though, but do what's right for you and your family. As for the mosquito collector, I'm not sure that would be a good idea, ha ha ha. BUT if you did decide to do that, you could also let us know what the best mosquito repellant was too. Your retirement job could help all of us all over the world.

    Kickboxing? No need for you to explain why. I know what you're thinking. Any robber who tries to steal your handbag is going to be in for a right shock... My prayers go out to any burglar who enters your home at night. You'll kick and trust him up like a chicken, ha ha ha. You'll be the 'Wonder Woman' of your community and you'll be despised by all the criminals :)

    I have no idea if or when I'll retire. The government is moving the goal posts, so it seems I'll be working for much more years than intended :(

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    1. Rum-Punch Drunk: Ha! I hope I never have to use the kick-boxing for anything but a good workout! And, oh, I hate those mosquitoes. That job would probably be the job at the very bottom of the list~

      I feel very grateful to be able to retire at this age and still have enough left for another career, if I decide I want to.

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  32. You're certainly getting some interesting offers! Way more interesting then anything I've received since taking early retirement last year. The thing to do is to keep young.... I 'only' took early retirement so nothing has changed for me...I still have a teen to raise! I LOVE that you took up kickboxing. I did hip-hop dancing for a while too...as well as my usual dancing and gym-going.

    Here's to staying fit and having fun!

    xx Jazzy

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    1. jazzygal: I love going to the gym and now I'm able to go 2 or 3 times a day. Your are right- staying fit AND having fun while doing it is a way to keep young no matter our age!

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  33. Dearest Shelly,
    Wow, I really enjoyed reading this post comparing to the days when my husband retired p;) That many job offer sure must be the proof that you are highly credited when working♡♡♡ You made me surprised by the "kick boxing"; quite a relief reading the explanation about it, haha. "A fountain of youth"; I'm happy to read you feel younger. I think Working Women have the right to have both relaxing and rewarding time after retirement. As always, I learn a lot from your post♪♪♪

    PS> So sorry for my belated comment. I hope you are having a wonderful new week, my dear friend. Lots of Love and hugs, xoxo Miyako*

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    1. orchid Miyako: It is a great workout, and that's what I love it for! Ha! It does feel absolutely wonderful, though, to be retired. I don't know yet if I will look for a part time job later, but I think I will, just to keep my brain active. Thank you, my dear friend, for stopping by!
      xo

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  34. How funny that you look younger now that you're retired. Retirement must suit you!

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  35. Oh, I love that Lion Hunting one! I read this the other day and got interrupted and never came back! I have heard from retired people that they are busier than any day they have ever "worked"!! I'm sure it's a interesting thing to get used to!

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    1. Jamie: It has been wonderful so far...kind of surreal! And I'm thankful I will never be closer to a lion than in a zoo~

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  36. Adult diapers! Hahahah! The way they make people work these days, you'd think that those ads would be for working people. My career never launched, so I'm in this weird place of being middle aged and still not working. I've held many jobs and moved so often that my work life is a patchwork quilt.

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    1. Jenny: Ha!!! So true! We used to teacher joke that we needed those astronaut diapers NASA makes because sometimes we wouldn't be about to go to the bathroom until the afternoon, especially on testing days.

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