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Ruminations on the Future
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I'm ruminating while I'm eating (pun intended) my nut and cheese breakfast, drinking coffee, and thinking about the future.

I've taken three days of vacation this week, partly to celebrate my birthday, but mostly to think about and plan the future.

What about retirement? The easiest part, I think, will be finding meaningful volunteer work or part-time employment. I have lots of skills, a bunch of education and a cell phone which allows me to get out of the house and still keep in touch with handicapped and housebound husband. (I might add, housebound by his choice and lack of initiative, not for medical reasons).

However, I do see challenges in other areas. Managing finances may be difficult. Husband has nothing to do with his time but page through catalogs and order stuff he can't use. I can foresee this becoming a problem. Also, there will be two or three income sources, perhaps also some from a rental house we own (if the tenant ever starts paying rent, that is.)

On a personal level, it will become a challenge to maintain a schedule. The temptation to sleep in, to postpone things, is already evident: I didn't get up until 7:15 this morning. For a morning person, that is the slippery slope to laziness. Keeping a regular sleep schedule, the morning routine of ablutions, letting the dog out/in, putting out meds for hubby, making coffee, etc., will be important. I've seen other retirees' lives turn chaotic and disorganized. No, thank you.

On a wider time scale, the same thing goes for other chores: shopping, laundry, setting up meds, etc., all the once-a-week stuff needs to be scheduled. Not, thank heavens, all crammed into Saturday and Sunday each week, but on the other hand, not allowed to take up each day so that there's no time for anything else.

Finally, as I've been home for four days now, I've made a list of a zillion (well, maybe a few less) projects I want to accomplish, some of which have been put off for years. Replanting the ornamental border gardens, replacing the stair carpeting with wood finish and non-slip walk surfaces, re-potting the plant hanging in the bathroom (it thinks it's taking over), and on and on.

I begin to understand why my friends who have retired say they're busier than ever. The reason? In addition to all of the above, their friends, their church, their community service organizations think they have so much time on their hands with nothing else to do, that they are the perfect source to provide transportation for the blind, provide meals to the elderly, canvass for votes for candidate X, etc. And in my case, transportation to the VA, too.

Good thing I've had many years of management experience. I think I'm going to need all the organizational skills I possess to create a new life from the ashes of the old.

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