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» Friday, February 23, 2018The Many Labors of Retirement
I made a remark a few days ago on Facebook that a couple of people misinterpreted: I said "Now I know why people don't want to retire: time goes by so quickly when you're not at work." By that I meant work days went by sooooooooo slowly. I'd do a bunch of things, think an hour had gone by, and it was only fifteen minutes. Instead, since January 31, three weeks have gone whizzing by with the speed of light. You may not live longer if you keep working, but it sure feels like it (at least if you aren't fond of your job; I always envied people who loved what they did for work).
Here's an example from this week: while Wednesday started with a nice mindful walk of the dog while watching and listening to the birds, who are already claiming territory and singing at the tops of their lungs about it, suddenly my day was skimming by. Those plastic drawers I rearranged in the master bedroom closet? I used my chalk markers and chalk stickers to label them, and then cleaned out the top shelf of the pantry and labeled most of the plastic containers that hold cereal, macaroni, TVP, etc., and repurposed one of the small containers for James' Sweet'n'Low. (He is glad it is out of the pantry, as it was always falling on his head.) I also marked the new boxes of Christmas cards I bought on discount. To put them up I will have to clean off the entire top of a cabinet. (I am not looking forward to the climbing up and down.) I also wrote a final two thank you notes for retirement gifts, and another note to a friend who is not on the internet much and hinted that now that I was retired I might have time to write to her more than once a year. 😀 I used to be a prodigious letter-writer in the 1980s, and that had gone by the wayside due to the nine to five grind. Writing to her more often will be fun!
Thursday I went in more directions than Marco Polo. I had a wellness visit at the doctor Wednesday afternoon, and had to do a fasting blood test first thing the next morning. That was accomplished expeditiously, and then I went to hang around the Barnes & Noble at Akers Mill (oh, yeah, twist my arm!) until Tin Drum opened for lunch. (I actually didn't buy anything but did see a couple of books I might be interested in.) I was stuffed to the gills when I finished, since it had been both my breakfast and lunch, and knew I needed to walk it off! So I drove up to Town Center. I started at their Barnes & Noble because they have the best magazine selections, and did get "Smoky Mountain Living" and the new "Just Cross Stitch." Otherwise I don't buy spring and summer magazines. Too pink and white and needlessly chirpy about what I consider hot and depressing. I thought about getting the new Flavia De Luce mystery, but honestly—$26 full price for a tiny hardback like that; even at the 30 percent off I could have had, it was $18. I can wait for the paperback, thank you.
Next I stopped at Office Max to check a keyboard out, and then walked next door to Best Buy where, surprise!, they had the same keyboard for about $16 cheaper. Still not sure I want to buy it, though. So instead I popped into Michael's to buy a Command hook with my coupon, and then next door to JoAnn, where I used coupons on chalk tags for drawers and some motivational stickers for the journal I'm keeping this year.
On the way home I stopped at the Dallas Highway Barnes & Noble, which is the only one in this area that has the Neanderthal book recommended at the Anachrocon panel. I wanted to make certain it was worth buying; how can you tell about a book unless you see it? It's smaller than I expected, but still looks intriguing. Plus I found a book about typography on the clearance table for $2.
By then I was tired out and headed home.
Today it was inescapable. I had two things to do that had been put off long enough. One was getting Tucker a bath. He hasn't had one since October, and, although most pet sites say that if your dog spends most of his/her time indoors, it doesn't need bathing that often, Tucker's fur was thick and oily and even brushing him wasn't helping anymore, and the white parts of his coat were turning tattletale grey. I'd intended to get him a bath before the Twelfth Night party, but it was so bitterly cold that week I didn't want to take him out in it even if they do have dryers. So I swallowed my oatmeal and yogurt and milk, leashed the dog, grabbed his soap, and off we went to what used to be "Unleashed by Petco" which is now just a little Petco store. A big dog named Cody that looked part Golden retriever was being bathed in the next tub when we got there and he whined and complained through the entire process. Tucker whines occasionally, but he spends most of his time turning exactly in the opposite direction of where I need him to be. Apparently dogs can also make themselves weigh twice as much as they do just by sheer resistance. My arms are aching now from simply pushing him into the correct position.
Now that he was done shedding all over my car, it was the car's turn to be "thoroughly valeted," as Margo Leadbetter would say. I'm embarrassed to say when the last time the car was washed. We can't even rinse a car off here because of the drought, so to get a wash I have to take it to the car wash. Usually I do this before vacation, but we haven't gone on one since 2015. I think the last time it was washed was December 2016, but I'm not sure if that was the time I get a free car wash because it was my birthday month or it was the time I struck up a friendly conversation with the woman sitting next to me and it turned out she was trying to sell me a windshield repair. (I hate people who do that.)
Washing the car: no work at all watching them at the car wash. It's pulling out all the reusable grocery bags, the water bottles, the blanket, the Bracketron, the trash container, my umbrella, charge cords, the windshield sunshade, the window sunshades, the Kleenex box, the wipes, the luggage carrier, the insulated bags, the bungee cords, James' cane, etc....and then putting them all back in when you're done. Really. I was a half hour at the car wash, and just unloading and reloading the car took me most of the rest of the afternoon—not to mention that the sun came out and I was roasting out in the driveway sorting out the reusable grocery bags. I find I have enough of them that I can put away the fall/Christmas/winter themed ones for six months and still have enough to go shopping! I tossed out at least once ripped bag, dozens of store receipts, old window sunshades on the rear windows, and other assorted detritus. Then I had to adjust the phone in the Bracketron, put all my change back in the change slots, stick up the new window sunshades, ad infinitum it seemed.
And finally, finally, I could put on my "TARDIS Chameleon Edition" emblem that I bought way back last fall (or maybe it was late summer), because I wasn't putting it on until the car was clean. I had to use a ruler and a tiny spot of paint marker, but I have it exactly opposite the PT's own "Touring Edition" emblem on the hatchback.
(Okay, I did do one fun thing today. On the way home from the car wash I stopped at Hobby Lobby. Picked up discount chalk labels, bookmarks, inspirational stickers, and had a nice chat with a lady who was planning a "Glow Party." I have no idea what that is, but can't possibly be what I found when I looked it up on Google—something about glow sticks and drugs! Sounded like it was more an inspirational or sales thing to me.)
I also stopped by O'Reilly Auto Parts and finally found a seat belt adjuster to put in the truck. I hope it works, since I'm tired of the shoulder belt trying to strangle me. It's such a pain in the --- being short!