I just realized how difficult retirement will be

I live with the belief that I will retire in the next 20 years; it is a great hope of mine. I’ve heard that a lot of people retire and then just die because they have no purpose left in life. That is not going to happen to me. Gabe and I have a whole list of things we want to do when I no longer have to work. It’s a long list and after the past week, I worry we will never get to it.

I took the first week of the New Year off  (highly recommended, by the way) and had hoped to take down Indoor Christmas on the 1st. Usually, I like to leave it all up for awhile but the house has been non-stop decorated for one holiday after another since October 1st and I was 100% ready to have it all back to normal. After Christmas was packed away, we were going to clean like crazy. I figured that would take me to the 3rd and then I could tackle my list things I wanted to accomplish after the house was clean and put to rights:

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It’s not a long list. There are no difficult items. I had a week to do this. Why didn’t I get it all done?

Well, guess what?
The Goodwill stuff only got packed up because I did laundry and had to put it away and needed space. I did manage to finish And I Shall Have Some Peace There: Trading In the Fast Lane For My Own Dirt Road  by Margaret Roach  and felt good about that, but everything else? Didn’t even touch it. And you know why? Because as we cleaned, all these other things that needed doing kept popping up.

I emptied the china cabinet, dusted and oiled it, cleaned the contents, then put it all back and found that I am missing 3 little garden party cups.

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The cups in the foreground? There should be 12. I can only find 9. My heart hurts over this.

I know the set was whole when I moved in, but I don’t know if I put all the pieces in the cabinet, or not. That necessitated a trip to the Underhouse (like an undercroft only different because we don’t live in a medieval dwelling) to see if there was still a box of fancy dishes down there. I didn’t find one. Since the shed is a disaster zone, I couldn’t look out there but I don’t put things like that in the shed. After an hour of searching, I had to give up and just cry. This particular set is important to me and I hate knowing I’ve lost some of it.

Gabe got us a new bird feeder to replace the one that met with a horrible demise in a recent bear attack. It was taking up space on the living room floor so I had to fill and hang it and, in the process, was mugged for my birdseed by the local gang. Little bastards.

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That deer that’s looking at the seed on the ground? It just came right up. I marched off to get the dog who then barked these bullies straight out of the yard. Good job, Daisy May!

The amaryllis my mom gave me – it came as a bulb in a box – four years ago finally bloomed for the first time so I had to take a LOT of pictures of it. Every day. And I had to tell it how happy I was that it was finally able to show off and that it was stunning. That sort of cut into my cleaning and sorting time.

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It’s so pretty! I want to stare at it for hours like I’m some sort of creep. I don’t think it would mind, though. That’s why I have a lot of plants. They don’t care if I’m creepy. At least, I don’t think they do.

We celebrated Toki&Evie’s 5th birthday on January 3rd. We sang to them and gave them birthday food (Fancy Feast, something they NEVER get any other time of year) and presents (new treats and new stuffed mice) It was a good birthday for them but I can’t believe they’re five. That has nothing to do with cleaning, really, but it deserves mention because Evie told me to put it in here.

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Five years old! He’s so big!

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Also five…and apparently none too thrilled about it. Well, she sure changed her tune when we popped that Fancy Feast lid.

And once we were finally finished after FOUR DAYS!!! (seriously? how dirty are we?), we sat down and discussed the problems and gaps we’d found and what do to about them. This lead to a discussion of things that need to change. Here are some of the things we’ll be doing differently:
-The little tabletop water fountain I’ve got in the dining area will be used more often; I’ve had it running since I put it back out and it’s been a pleasant background noise. Also, I like to think the water that is surely evaporating from it is good for all the plants nearby. Win/win.
-We will plan meals. We ate well and on-time the entire week despite being horrendously busy getting dust and cobwebs in our nose holes. It wasn’t hard – the eating responsibly thing, not the dust in the nose-holes thing (though that wasn’t hard, either). If we can do it while on a mission to restore tidiness to our home, we can do it in a normal week.
-We are taking back the kitchen table! It’s not a parking lot, it’s a place to eat. No more gnawing food mindlessly on the couch in front of the TV and no more messy table top. We both want to lose weight and I have a feeling this will help (it’s far too easy to sit on the couch and just continue shoving food in our faces while we watch an entire season of some TV show or another on DVD)
-We are going to clean up after ourselves immediately. We’ll just clean as we go, all day every day, and then I won’t have to clean the house on weekends and we can do fun things, instead!

These sound like resolutions, but they’re not. They are the things we need to do because we are grown-ups managing our own household, because we care about our health and well-being and about our marriage. So…we’re just going to do them, new year or not.

Come Saturday, I was exhausted. So was Gabe. We sat around all day and read. It was glorious but I felt a twinge of guilt because I hadn’t done anything else on my list and I knew I wouldn’t because Sunday was devoted to meal planning, grocery shopping, and getting ready for Monday.
That’s when I realized how hard retirement will be and I wondered if we would ever get to our Things To Do When We Retire list. Maybe that’s the real reason people just up and die after retiring; it’s disheartening to know that you thought you were done working only to find you are just beginning. I think I’d rather some eternal rest, too, than a retirement full of finishing unfinished crap.

8 Comments

Filed under Adventures, In my backyard, My Dearly Beloveds, My Phenomenal Fake Life

8 responses to “I just realized how difficult retirement will be

  1. Found you through a link on Twitter. Your week off sounds like most of my time off. One thing leads to another, and then you are so far off from where you started, you never get back on track. You do a LOT of stuff, but not what was on your list.

    Over the past few months. I’ve purged 3 closets this way. The first one felt so good, I moved on to the next one. It wasn’t even on my list, but man, it’s amazing.

    Also, you need a hobby. What will you do with your time if all you plan to do is paint the ceilings and clean out the shed? What will you do for FUN?

    I make cards when I’m not at the Day Job. On days off I clean something, then reward myself with some craft time. Perfect balance. :)

  2. Bwahaha! Leslie, I know who you are. We tweet to each other all the time…when I’m on Twitter. Well, at least, some of the time when I’m there, anyway. :)
    I am SO glad to hear that it’s not just me, that other people attempt to do things and then derailed and wind up with clean closets! Ok, I didn’t wind up with clean closets, literally, but all the other stuff I got out of it will happily be symbolized by a clean closet.
    I stamp, too! I only make cards a few times a year because I don’t have dedicated stamping space, but I always enjoy it…until it’s time to clean it up, pack it away, and try to vacuum up the glitter.
    And you are totally right – I DO need to do my chores, then reward myself. That will make it way more fun. I’ll feel much better about myself. AND I can put “Reward Self” on the list so that I can cross it off and feel good about accomplishing something!
    This is getting better by the moment!
    Thanks for stopping by, Leslie! It’s nice to hear from you over here. :)

  3. How? How in the hell does that happen?! One minute I’m minding my own business, doing the dishes, and all of a sudden, three kids and a Manchild are whining that they’re hungry and want to be fed because it’s 7:30 at night and the kids have to go to bed soon.
    WHATTHEFUCKJUSTHAPPENED?! Not only are my dishes only half done, but the craft cabinet is half emptied onto the table, there are stacks of things and open cupboards/drawers/doors everywhere, my bathroom is spotless (did I do that?), clean laundry all over the house, the kids room’s are vacuumed but the vacuum is in the hallway…
    Oh, yeah. My OCD comes with a little side of ADD.
    Plus, when you don’t do certain things on a regular basis, it just makes them that much more labor intensive the next time you do do those things. (I totally just typed do do. I love when that happens.)
    Speaking of doo-doo, I need to reorganize my winter clothes storage area.
    Feck! I kind of hate you for what you just did to me.
    Okay, I’m lying.
    But now I’ve gotta go find something to distract myself with before I tear my house apart…
    Hey look! You have another post I haven’t read yet…

    • WTH?
      I did not respond to your comment?
      Something is afoot (and I don’t mean my foot)
      So – RIGHT? RIGHT????!!!!!!!

      Um, did you get your winter clothes storage area organized yet? Or have you been too busy with the aliens? The written aliens, not the ones who may or may not live with you.

  4. Whew! I love the idea of taking back the kitchen table.I just read a helpful post at Budgets are Sexy a few days ago that had some good ideas for de-cluttering in the new year, and I picked up a few things I might try out! The kitchen table thing reminded me of that. Good luck!

    • Thank you! And good luck to you in the decluttering process – it’s such a chore but it feels so wonderful afterward!
      Yay to us all and our endeavors to have more harmonious/less cram-packed lives!

  5. I love that as I read this in reverse order, I can enjoy the hilarity of seeing “Iron!” on your list. Because no.

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