Retirement Blues

The opinion on retirement is definitely mixed among the retirees I have talked to over the last few months.  Some viewed it as one of life’s greatest events; others saw it as a great disappointment caused by boredom and a loss of identity.  Even though John was on vacation all last week, this is actually his first week of official retirement so he is still navigating unfamiliar waters.  He had a retirement party on Tuesday with an impromptu roast by some of his co-workers.  I think for all his bluster about not missing the job, he was genuinely touched by the ones who said they would miss him and had enjoyed working with him.  There may be a period of adjustment, but I believe he will end up in the group touting it as a wonderful experience.  I am not so sure I will love his retirement quite that much.

So far he has been pretty helpful around the house, but his previous contributions had the bar set so low there was no room for anything but improvement.  However, cooking is probably the area where he is struggling the most, so when he apologized last night for not cooking supper, I assured him that I could find something to eat and that I didn’t expect him to cook something every night.  That’s probably where he should have left things, but he somehow felt compelled to give me the details of his day as an explanation for his lack of culinary activity.

He told me he had gone to a local feedlot to see if he could pick up a recently deceased cow to butcher for his dogs.  Since he had successfully done this in the past and significantly reduced the amount of dog food he had to purchase for his 11 dogs, that sounded like a fairly productive activity.  Again, this would have been a great time to end the story, but he continued by telling me he really had overdone the cutting and heavy lifting because his back was aching, and that’s why he didn’t feel like cooking supper.  I was somewhat sympathetic and even found him some pain pills left over from his last bout with kidney stones, but my concern waned a bit when he shared the fact that 3 ibuprofen, 2 beers, and a 2 hour nap hadn’t helped at all.  Really?  He didn’t feel like cooking even after a 2 hour nap?  That must have been quite a back ache.  However, the coup de grace came just a few minutes later when he said he really hoped the pain pills helped because he was going coon hunting with a friend in about an hour.

I did a quick mental summary of all the information he’d shared in the short time I’d been home just to make sure I wasn’t missing something.

1.  Spent the morning picking up and butchering a dead cow.

2.  Spent the afternoon drinking beer and napping.

3.  Didn’t cook supper because back hurt.

4.  Spent the evening coon hunting because that activity must use different back muscles than cooking.

Yes, retirement is going to be awesome for him.  Me, not so much.

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to RSS feed