Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Retirement is a full-time job

If you see me hanging from a ladder on our front porch don’t be surprised. Old house had to have a coat of paint. Our house is painted with oil-based paint and at one time, with lead still in the mix, the paint lasted many more years than it does now.

Our painter is a handyman who acquires many painting jobs during the summer. This year had to be one of them and inasmuch as our house is a large one it often takes a lot longer to finish, especially when it is done with a brush and not a roller. So, I told him not to worry about the ceiling on the front porch, I could do it as I love painting anyway.

So if you see me hanging from a ladder, just drive on by and say to yourself, “she’s at it again.” Folks who know me know I am quite an independent person and don’t like to ask for help unless it’s absolutely necessary so they are not surprised when they see me with a bucket of concrete fixing steps or the porch foundation. It’s the kind of concrete that is already mixed so it isn’t hard to fix a small job instead of trying to get someone who’s do it. That isn’t easy these days. Contractors don’t want small jobs.

You might, if you are a senior citizen, get someone for small tasks through the Madison County Office for the Aging. They have retirees that will help you.

So far, I have been able to do my own fixings; I had an advantage. My dad was a builder and I would watch him as he worked and I learned from that.

Ceilings aren’t the easiest to paint. Especially when they are ribbed. Painting in those cracks is time consuming, so it will take me several days to complete as the porch goes across the whole front of the house. Not to worry; eventually we can get it done.

Notice I said “we” will get it done. If one of my relatives who gets disgusted with me will come and finish it when I’m away, something I’d never allow if I were home.

When I retired, I thought of all the time I would have and how much I would enjoy not having to be dressed and at work at a certain time.

Chores, when I worked depended on weekends, and evenings and were often delayed by weather. I would have all the time I needed.

It doesn’t work that way, I found out. For one thing, with extra time, you do more than you planned. This increases both the work and the necessary shopping for materials.

You volunteer for a charity organization because you thought you would have plenty of time, but you find that volunteering takes up a lot more time than you thought and you don’t have the heart to say “no” when they call.

You planted a huge garden so you would have freezing, canning and preserving all those veggies. The huge garden is taking more time than you anticipated and yielded more than you thought so you find yourself in the kitchen all late summer and fall taking care with your wife/husband of all the preserving.

Beware of retiring and don’t fall into a trap. Plan your retirement and stick to it and don’t let your time get out of hand.

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