Category: Early Retirement

Where Has the Time Gone?

Where Has the Time Gone?

Originally posted on

Time is flying by, to where I know not.

We’ve been away from our house/home for over 2 months now of a potential 6 month gig. I have been asked more than a few times if I would consider staying on permanently but up until now I’ve been non-committal, vague even. I imply more money might sway me, or perhaps I should say the same money. As I’m a contractor/consultant my salary is higher than the norm for that position but bear in mind I get no benefits of any kind, except maybe some free clothes or boots.

Bottom line really is that I don’t care to work. I enjoy some of the tasks thrown my way but the longer I do this job the more I remember what it was like the first time around. My early retirement was for a reason.

I do feel validated however, in demand, wanted shall I say. All feelings that were missing before. I want to write more but I’m tired, another thing I don’t miss.

Cheers.

The Circle of Life

The Circle of Life

English: Albert Einstein Français : Portrait d...
English: Albert Einstein Français : Portrait d’Albert Einstein (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Life is a circle, I’ve been thinking, and if you always turn right eventually you’ll end up where you began. Another way to look at it is through the definition of insanity:

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
– Albert Einstein

I’m hardly saying anything new here, perhaps just another perspective. In fact I think my perspective would be a good quote in itself.

Life is a circle, if you keep turning right eventually you will end up where you began.
– Dwayne

Perhaps I should publish some of these quotes, I might be onto something. But I digress …..

My point is I’ve been pondering those things in life that’ve become more obvious to me now, more timely or ……. something I’m more conscious or cognizant of, the passage of time and my relation to it. What I do or don’t do with it.

I’m recently retired, more time to think I suppose, and that means more time to myself and more naval gazing. Whether that’s good or not who’s to say. And it’s not like I never thought before. I would consider myself a frequent ‘thinker’, I often just can’t remember what I’ve thought about so I often re-think it. Lets hope I come up with the same conclusion.

I’ve been pondering whether I’m stuck in a rut again. My days don’t often change from one day to the next, and I’m not complaining. In fact I’m not minding it at all, that’s the point. I just wonder, is it ‘good for me’?

They say seniors (which I’m not sure applies to me) are in a higher incident rate of depression and lower life expectency if they are not social, and I am not social. I call myself ‘non-social’ as opposed to ‘anti-social’, where ‘non’ implies not being social and ‘anti’ leads me to think you are against being social. I am certainly not against a social life, I just don’t feel like taking part in one. That’s not to say I don’t think it’s important, but it’s like Brussels sprouts, you know they’re good but you may not want to eat them.

So I do what I do, most days, and can I really expect anything to change in my future? Can I anticipate any break, a diversion from this path of routine? Not if something doesn’t change, not unless I turn left along the route and travel a road less travelled. Only the will the circle be broken.

More thoughts on:

Navel Gazing

Stuck in a Rut

Cleaning House

Cleaning House

Again I’ve fallen behind in the blogging world, not updating my posts since a week or so ago. I have no good excuses. I certainly have excuses, just not good ones. My current “reason” for blog silence is just life itself, and what it entails.

What inspired this train of thought was a post entitled “Fall Cleaning….But Not What You Think”, on the Satisfying Retirement blog. I’ve known for quite some time that my life is overly complicated, needs some pruning and tuning, and would benefit greatly from some streamlining. I’ve known it but as of yet have not been able to accomplish much, to my estimation anyway.

Perhaps it’s too early in my retirement. Maybe with some time under my belt, and once I get my sea legs, things will improve. I hope I can make headway.

Perhaps, and maybe, two very loaded words. And hope is not a plan.

I think I need a housekeeper.

Pluckin’ and Shuckin’, Oh Tis the Life

Pluckin’ and Shuckin’, Oh Tis the Life

Today was a pretty good day, as days go where you don’t have to go to work and you can pretty much just hang out. Oh the luxuries that early retirement affords.

I spent some of the afternoon pluckin’ and shuckin’, no was corn involved (shuckin’) but I did get in my share of pluckin’.  We have a few gardens that needed tending and I still have numerous plants and flowers in pots and all needed their share of attention.  Watering and weeding, the 2 w’s were the order of the day.

DSC_0338
shore by Pend O’Reille dam

Prior to any of this though I had to make a trip to a post office on the American side of the border to pick up a package we ordered a week or more ago.  We often get things sent there as it’s much cheaper than getting sent to Canada from the US.  More often than not the items come with free shipping and we pay no duty or taxes when crossing the border, probably due as much to good luck as good looks.  Today I picked up some solar screening from the post office and filled my tank with cheaper gas.  Kinda like a double header.

The sun was in a great position on my drive back and I got some photos of one of the hillsides in part sun and part shadow.  I think it will look neat, with some editing (yet to be done).  Time will tell.

DSC_0346It was only after I got home that the pluckin’ began.  I had a few Coleus to transplant, one for my Mom (one of the children under the stairs) and the other two for me.  Not sure what I’m going to do with so many Coleus in the house in a couple month as they aren’t perennials and won’t last the winter outside.  We get too much snow and it’s far too cold for them to survive.  They do make beautiful deck plants however and I’ll do what I have to to keep them going, which may include wintering with the geraniums and other annuals we keep going year round.

I also had to tune up my roses as they are getting rather ratty looking.  Whether that’s from lack of water, some other rose affliction, or just the way it is.  I don’t really know the cause but I’m banking on the lack of water at this point.  We’ve been on the road so much and Mom was looking after all the yard plants that I can’t be sure they got adequate watering while we were gone.  I’m sure she watered, just how much is the question.

All in all the day went well.  I never did make it to installing my deck handrails nor to any of the other tasks on my list, but that’s the price I pay.  C’est la vie.  Tomorrow is another day.

Leave Your Legacy

Leave Your Legacy

An interpretation of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, represented as a pyramid with the more basic needs at the bottom
photo credit Wikipedia

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theorizes there are a number of steps or stages to a person’s development.  Represented as a triangle you would start with the basics needs at the bottom and move to the more developed stages at the top.  For more info you can check out here.

Sometimes I believe I haven’t progressed much along that path. Oh I certainly have the basic Physiological needs met (food and water etc.). I have the
security and Safety needs met of body, both personal and family, so while my pension is small I seem to have enough to live on.  So far at least.  It’s level 3 that sometimes gives me pause, the Love/Belonging stage.

If you’ve read any of my previous posts, particularly some on my early retirement, you’d know I had (or have) some issues regarding my previous place of employ and the terms under which I left.  Those issues revolved primarily around my disappointment up to and including the time of my early retirement.  In part it was a disappointment or sadness that ended with my perception of the quick good-byes from my fellow employees, where it seemed to me they were just anxious to get it over with and get back to work.  It felt (almost) like my 38 years of service meant nothing.  Hurry, give Dwayne his cake, his retirement card, and a token “see you soon” and we can continue on with our day.  I was deeply hurt.

But I digress.  My point was that in that setting, my workplace, I had  at one point felt that they were my family, extended but family nonetheless.  That perception was quickly and effectively quashed.  I rapidly felt alone, without my “family”, cast adrift into the retirement sea with no history.  Probably one of the biggest components of my life, that of my job,  all of a sudden meant nothing.

I continue to work at resolving those emotions however, to get past the hurt.

During my tenure there I tried not to be one who lived to work, rather I worked to live.  The job was just a means to an end.  Sure I tried to enjoy it and connect with others but in the end it was just my job.  Perhaps that was one of the reasons my advancement felt limited, it may have been that my credo was more obvious than I thought and I wasn’t seen as a team player.  Who knows.  At any rate I tried to place the importance and emphasis in my life on things outside my job.  I tried to focus my energy and enjoyment on my home and my family.

In this, my family, I feel more blessed.  My wife often reminds me that the challenges I faced in my job, the tribulations in my career and the sacrifices I gave during my working life, weren’t for nothing.  The life tools and the basis for growth that we gave our children was worth so much more.  We provided more than a roof, and food on the table, we gave them the grounding and tools to build their own happy and fulfilling lives.

If there’s anything you should leave your children it’s a path, a means to follow in your footsteps.  Give them guidance and support, and copious amounts of love.  In that I hope I’ve succeeded.  In fact it’s been said to me a number of times, particularly by my nephew among others, “I want to raise my kids just like you did”.  We are held up as a positive example, as role models and mentors, as parents to emulate.

So perhaps I have passed part of level 3.  The friends I have may be few but I think they are true friends.  They love us and can be counted on in a time of need to support us.  I feel gratitude that I have the family I do, that our children have the love and caring in their lives, to grow and mature as healthy adults.  I can hope for no less while they raise their own children.

“Mothers tell your children ‘Be quick, you must be strong.
Life is full of wonder and love is never wrong.’
Remember how they taught you; how much of it was fear.
Refuse to hand it down: The legacy stops here.”
-Melissa Etheridge

To Work, Or Not To Work, That is The Question

To Work, Or Not To Work, That is The Question

I received a call the other day, really it was an email but the purpose was the same.  It was a question, asked by the person who took over my previous role at work, “do you want to golf on Sunday?”.  Now that sounds like a harmless question, and it may be just that simple, however my mind went into overdrive and I pondered the “What ifs?”

  • What if he is really schmoozing me to find out if I want to go back to work on contract?
  • What if he’s not, and he just wants to golf?
  • What if he misses my smiling face and wants to bond?
  • What if it’s none of the above?

Tough questions, all of them….. Not really!

I surmise what’s really happening is my ego is acting up, setting the stage for an “I’m so great and they can’t accomplish anything without me” attitude.  I am thinking that in my deep hurt from how I left my career that I am looking for vindication on some level.  I also suspect that this response is normal, or I certainly hope so.  I don’t want to think I’m unbalanced or anything.  I’m not happy that I feel this way, thinking my ego is taking over, but it wouldn’t be a stretch to my way of thinking.

I did email him back and I told him we were on the road camping, that I’d be unable to meet him.  “When you get back call me” he said.  Does that sound like somethings afoot to you?  He has never asked me to golf yet, nor has he ever suggested I call him.   Hmmm, inquiring minds need to know.

When all is said and done and our lives get back to normal I’m sure I’ll find out what the scuttle is, until then I’m left wondering.  And the question is not only whether that’s what he wanted it’s also what will/would my answer be?  That is the bigger question now isn’t it, to work or not to work?  That’s the harder one to answer.

Tis Bittersweet, This First day of Retirement

Tis Bittersweet, This First day of Retirement

Hmmm, what to write.  Whether ’tis nobler…..wait, that line’s been taken.

I’ve been pondering much of my day what to post or if to post, this day being the first day of the rest of my life so to speak.  It’s the first official day of my retirement, early retirement if it matters.  I tried to come up with something profound to write, something with some teeth in it, but alas it was not to be.  So I just wrote this.

Read More Read More

On the Road again

On the Road again

source https://i2.wp.com/www.miss-thrifty.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/travelling-salesman.jpg?resize=250%2C200
Travelling salesman

I’m soon to be on the road again. I feel like a traveling salesman, and to think at one point I aspired to a role like that. Now, maybe not so much.

I have been approached recently too, to see if I’d be interested in taking on a sales position since I’ve retired.  It would mean travel probably 2 or 3 days a week, living in hotels and eating restaurant food.  Boozing and schmoozing customers would be the norm, it would most likely tax my adapting skills to the max, and I’d probably be back into the stress mode. More here

Depression. Mine is……well, Depressed – pt.2

Depression. Mine is……well, Depressed – pt.2

In my previous post I was giving a bit of an update on how I see things have gone for me lately, how I’m feeling better and generally less angry and frustrated.  I think I’m coming out of this tunnel called Depression. I believe I can see a light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s not an oncoming train (I hope).

I discussed some of my symptoms, the treatments and path I took to deal with it, the meds and my visits with a counselor.  I left off with the discussion about if the death of my sons had any role in my depression.

More to the saga – read here

Depression. Mine is……well, Depressed – pt.1

Depression. Mine is……well, Depressed – pt.1

I’ve been feeling pretty good lately, not at all angry and as unhappy as I was before.  My depression, if that what it is, seems to have diminished or become depressed itself.  I was never 100% sure it was depression but as I understand there is a broad spectrum of symptoms and I had a number of them.  In some ways it’s hard to remember really what it was like during the bad times but I think some mental health issues are like that, in that when you start feeling good you forget a bit about what feeling bad was like.  I have a sense I didn’t like it much.  Being as I’m in a good space now I thought I could update things a bit.  Have a seat with me and let’s roll.

Intrigued? Read more