Transition

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Prior to my retirement my wife passed away due to a prolonged illness. I found myself focused just on work. I slipped into an enclosed place where I could work and just focus on work. It was not a happy time and I am sure that other people could see my problem. After several years of this work only life one of my children approached me and asked what I thought about her returning to school. I thought it was a good idea and informed her why she should do it. She explained about the hurdles she must face to return to school, however, she had a solution. She could move herself and her two children into my house and stay with me and attend college.

I was alone in a very large home and it seemed like a great idea. My job required me to travel and so I was not at home much of the time anyway. So she returned to school and she and her family moved into my house. I now had one of my daughters living in my house along with two grandchildren. We started to change the house to accommodate this group of people.

I asked my daughter to be in charge of the changes as I was still traveling for my job. She jumped at the opportunity and soon the house became a home once again. I found a lot of my time being taken by my two grandchildren. A teenage boy ( the skateboarder) and a pre kindergarten little girl. I went from being alone to being in a crowd. It was fun to come home.

Next I noticed how my other daughter was dealing with her family. She was starting to enter a major life change – divorce. Her four children were very unhappy and in need of some type of support. What could I do? In the old days my girl (my wife) would jump right into the mess and make things better. Could I do that? I sure felt that I was lacking the necessary skills. But I knew that I had to do something.

Retirement seemed to provide a possible solution and I started to look more closely at this option.

During this thought period I noticed that my granddaughter who was living with me demanded more and more of my time. Tasks like helping to cook dinner, watching TV, doing exercises, going shopping and a thousand other fun tasks began to take my mind away from work and look closer at living. Heck I even started to meet girls my own age. Living was much better than what I had been doing after my wife passed away.

Wow it seemed that my life went into a totally different direction. Work was no longer the center of my universe. People were becoming more and more important to me. I felt that I was needed by both of my daughters and their families. I felt that I needed someone closer to my age to share life’s ups and downs with again. What to do?

After a long talk with my CPA I discovered that I could retire and live good for the remainder of my life. I talked to work and set a retirement date. I then talked to my family and they were all happy about my decision. Soon the day came and I was a retired person.

At this time I had meet that one special girl who I could talk with and share life’s little ups and downs. She was a widow as well and we were happy together. She had two children and we both agreed that our families were our number one priority and our relationship was number two. I am sure you will understand that in time this too changed. Her family is my family and my family is her family.

Now I am a retired man, with a girl who loves me and three families that want and need me. What a lucky person I am.

My Retirement Started

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Retirement for me was filled with questions and concerns. My main concern – what will I do? How will I fill the day? Will I become just one of the old men who shuffle their feet trying to get from point a, to point b?

At this point I should let you know that I am not a individual who likes to play games.  So any activity relating to a game was not on my list. I consider golf a game and so I do not golf.

The first week went ok with me spending time with my children and grandchildren. But to be honest visiting can only last so long. Spending time
with my girl was lots of fun but she worked and that left me alone for the day.  What was I to do with all this free time? I let my daughters know that I had some free time and I let my girls know that I had free time. They told others and soon the word spread. The next thing I know was that I was being asked to help in more ways than I had imagined. I became an available resource!

The next few weeks were filled with activities from my teenage years.  Babysitting became my number one requested task. This task was followed by something we all know as a “honey do”. “Picking something up” held the number three slot. Sitting in the grand number four position was “waiting for the man/woman”. The number five slot changed daily, so I just thought of it as my “do anything” list.

Babysitting is something that can mean much more than just being the adult around children.  I discovered that I was more than just qualified to sit for children.  I could sit for pets, homes, gardens, and plants.  I was surprised to learn about the importance of these items to their owners.  I will share some of these sitting events with you later in the blog.

I think everyone knows what a “honey do” can mean. From changing a burnt out light bulb, to watering the plants in the yard, everybody has been assigned a “honey do”.  We all are never exempt from being given a “honey do”.  “Honey do’s” changed for me when I found “the list” of my “honey do’s” waiting for me to get out of bed.  My honey was not just asking me to do something, she was just leaving me “the list” of “honey do’s”.

The joy of being asked to pick something up became an adventure.  I have picked up glasses, prescriptions, loafs of bread, US postage stamps, laundry and the list goes on and on.  The adventure was in trying to locate the correct optometrist, drug store, type of bread, post office, cleaners and other business establishments.  I have met many new people who have become friends just by picking something up.

Nothing is more exciting than waiting for someone else.  Yes I have waited for the cable person, appliance repair person, computer geek, plumber, delivery person and of course my luggage at the airport.  I cannot list every person or item that had me waiting for its arrival.
I am sure we all know the happiness we experience when the waiting is over.

My “do anything” list was just that.  If what I was being asked, attempting to complete, or just some task that needed to be worked, did not fit into any of the four main categories, then it fell into my item number five.  Hey John, do you want to go to Italy this year?  Have you ever
made creamed spinach?  Do you think it would be difficult to install a vanity in the bathroom?  I have a three day weekend coming up where
would you like to go?  I did notice that most of my “do anything” items started with a question.

I soon learned that my golden years could be filled to overflowing by just providing a service to anyone who requested my assistance.  I was sure that this was not the way I wanted to end my golden years.  I felt it was time for me to take charge and make my remaining years truly golden.