Retirement? What Retirement?

"Playing a lot of golf?”

I get that a lot since I retired. I am an avid, though quite atrocious, golfer. But the answer is ‘no’.

I am approaching the one-year mark since I officially retired. I use the word ‘official’ because I spent 41 years as a radio announcer. My wife was an administrator at the University of Georgia; that’s some heavy lifting. It can be argued that I never really worked.

We chose to retire on the same date. Some friends and colleagues wondered if that was a good idea. Several have admitted to going back to work in some capacity to get away from their spouse for at least part of the day.

I get that. When you and your partner have been separated for most of the day 5 or 6 days a week, suddenly having all that time together could be… challenging? Suffocating? Time to question whether murder is really a sin?

We’ve struck a nice balance on the togetherness thing. I play golf; she’s not invited. She joined the gym; I’m not invited. She reads; I watch TV. We do our online shopping on separate computers and without consulting one another. (To that last item, our coffee maker recently died. We now have two. Be in touch if you’re interested.)

Advice from friends already retired on how much free time I would have was a mixed bag. Some had found other jobs, if only volunteer or part time, to fill the void left by not having to show up at the office. Mostly, though, the warnings were opposite, that I wouldn’t know where the hours of the day went.

Boy, were they right. In fact, whoever told me, “You won’t know how you ever had time for work!” nailed it.

In the year before I retired, I played 122 rounds of golf. As I reach the one year anniversary of no job, I will have played well less than half that many times.

Isn’t that supposed to be the other way around? What happened?

Travel gets some of the blame. Or credit, perhaps. By the time we reach the one year mark, we will have been to Alaska, Europe, Mexico, Disney World, Boston and New York City, not to mention trips to see family and friends closer by.

Moreover, though, I think work brought structure to my day. Working, I was up at 4 a.m., finished with work and on the golf course by noon, then whatever needed tending to would happen after that.

Take the car into the shop, buy groceries, make a Home Depot stop… on any given day, I could squeeze the necessary chores into whatever hours were left in the afternoon. What didn’t get done simply rolled over into the next day’s effort.

Nowadays, there is very little structure. Heck, we’re lucky if we to make the motion detector blink by 10 a.m. Breakfast often gets skipped because we’re too close to lunch by the time we get motivated to do anything.

That sort of inactivity can really shorten up a day!

Then once you do get moving, there’s always some sort of agenda: plant the garden, work in the yard, fix the leaky toilet, grocery store, drug store, doctors and dentists… oh my word, we could fill this page with doctor’s appointments.

I’ve often heard that the reason you retire is so you will have time to go to the doctor. I shouldn’t have dismissed that notion so nonchalantly. And we are healthy people!

So another day begins and golf is again not in the plan. I’ve been splitting firewood and have chosen a gorgeous spring day to try and get that finished up rather than frustrate myself trying to accurately move a little white ball 60 yards in less than five shots.

If I have time, I need to pick up the computer from the repair shop and run to Lowes. I could also use a haircut. Oh, and the ‘check engine’ light is on in the truck. I doubt anything is wrong with it, but the shop is clear across town. That takes time.

By day’s end, another day of retirement will have been filled up without going to a job and without playing golf. Then I’ll have to fire up the grill and drink a beer while cooking dinner.

*sighs heavily*

Do my chores never end?

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