Monday, November 4, 2013

How Do You Feel About Retirement?

Is this the definition of "retirement?"

"Retirement, a time to do what you want to do, when you want to do it, where you want to do it, and, how you want to do it."  Catherine Pulsifer

Written Saturday, November 2, 2013

Today has been one of those days when I just couldn't get myself going.  There's laundry to do, re-organization and cleaning to accomplish in this restricted space, linen to change, windows, RV and Petunia  to wash, and lots of other mundane chores.  I've procrastinated all day long, while finishing one novel and making a big dent in another.  I lie on the bed and read for an hour or so; then, kind of  start feeling like I should be DOING something constructive.  Then, after a few uncomfortable moments, I remind myself that I'm retired and don't have to have hourly, daily, weekly, monthly goals and projects like I did when I was a housewife, mother, and especially, when I managed the healthcare of patients in my nursing career.

I've always had a "To Do" list, or two or three; still do.  I like having those lists on my iPhone; it makes me feel more in control of my life if I have access to mental organization, especially when I'm out and about.  But, wait, I'm retired.  I can put projects off, read a whole book in a single day, and spend the entire day in my PJs if I want to -  as long as I don't hurt anybody else, right?

I went to wikipedia (a source for all knowledge!) and checked out this comparison table for retirement age in various parts of the World ....

CountryEarly retirement ageNormal retirement ageEmployed, 55–59Employed, 60–64Employed, 65–69Employed, 70+
Austria60 (57)65 (60)39%7%1%0%
Netherlands6065 (67)53%22%3%0%
Switzerland63 (61), [58]65 (64)77%46%7%2%
United Kingdomnone6869%40%10%2%
United States626766%43%20%5%

Notes: Parentheses indicate eligibility age for women when different. Sources: Cols. 1–2: OECD Pensions at a Glance (2005), Cols. 3–6: Tabulations from HRS, ELSA and SHARE. Square brackets indicate early retirement for some public employees.
* In France, the retirement age has been extended to 62 and 67 respectively, over the next eight years.[6]
** In Spain, the retirement age will be extended to 63 and 67 respectively, this increase will be progressively done from 2013 to 2027 at a rate of 1 month during the first 6 years and 2 months during the other 9.[7]

I completely retired from my long nursing career at age 68 and 7 months and haven't done a lick of  work that I've been paid for since.  From time to time I contemplate some type of employment for interest and some additional income; but I'm not willing to be hampered by a Monday through Friday,  eight hours / day, so many weeks / year kind of employment.  No way!  I also don't want to be restricted by a boss, marching to the beat of somebody else's drummer.  As I think of these self-imposed restrictions on employment, I realize they limit potential employment opportunities considerably.  So, let me think ..... travel writer - but they have deadlines to meet; bookstore owner - but they have hours to be open, inventory, bookkeeping, and books and bookstores are on their way out due to the electronic reading age.
I'd thought a little about writing healthcare teaching modules for schools in Guatemala.  That could be a possibility although it would be labor intensive writing in Spanish.  I could write a cookbook, but there are millions of them already out there - and they're going the way of all other types of books.
My virtual friend, Gil, who some of you know, is busy writing novels.  He says he loves his work.  Wonder if I could come up with a novel?  I read enough of them.

I thought I'd look up some quotes regarding "retirement," and found a couple that seem apropos to this post ...

Years ago, I lived in France for a time to study the language and culture.  From time to time, I walked in the cemetery reading the gravestones in the Proven├žal village of Lourmarin, France, where I'd rented a home for several months.  Lo and behold, I found the grave of Albert Camus, the famous author and philosopher.  He won the nObel Prize for literature in 1957.

Albert Camus
“He knew now that it was his own will to happiness which must make the next move. But if he was to do so, he realized that he must come to terms with time, that to have time was at once the most magnificent and the most dangerous of experiments. Idleness is fatal only to the mediocre.”
― Albert CamusA Happy Death

And, here is a quote by the famous Japanese short story and novel author, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature  in 1968....

Yasunari Kawabata
“I wonder what the retirement age is in the novel business.

The day you die.”

― Yasunari KawabataBeauty and Sadness

I don't feel idle; there're never enough hours in a day for all my interests.  Maybe I'll just work on making procrastination have a different connotation for my activities!

How have you 'settled into retirement?'


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  9. So sorry to hear that the comments are gone. I'l add a new one. My cousin told me ater she'd been retired for awhile that retirement is "just another form of time management."

  10. My opinion on retirement is the best way to enjoy our remaining life time. More over us can get payment in the name of pension.