A retired person like my esteemed self is not supposed to be overwhelmed with what we once called ‘work’. But I am.
It’s not the house or yard or other personal projects. It’s the damn volunteer affiliations, where I regularly over-commit, not yet having learned the obvious lesson.
And so I have my piles again, each demanding attention. There’s the newsletter for one board I’m on. And for that board, because I’m now able to remotely access the organization’s servers, I’m suddenly the go-to person for membership and other miscellaneous information as well.
There’s the unfinished grant application for the beach trust where, even though I’m no longer a Trustee (term limited), I seem to have become an ‘advisor’. As such – lucky me! – I get to do a lot of what I did as a Trustee – at least the responsibility no longer rest with me.
So, like Bart Simpson, it’s to the blackboard for me: must learn to say ‘no’. must learn to say ‘no’. must learn to . . .
And then perhaps some ice cream. It all looks better after some ice cream.
Plus the world out there offends me. And it sucks too. So there.
Between meetings at this very moment. Ahhh, the life of the retired . . .
From today’s New York Times, an op-ed by two academics – a law professor and an economics professor – offers a unique proposal. Their column is titled Paying for Old Age. They propose government-issued annuities which could be as attractive as those issued by insurance companies are not (AIG anyone?).
This new product wouldn’t cost the government a penny. In fact, the Treasury would benefit. It is only an incremental move beyond issuing inflation-adjusted bonds, which the Treasury already does. By allowing the government to tap a new class of investors, the cost of government borrowing over all would probably drop.
Once again I am facing double deadlines in my ‘volunteer’ jobs, so blogging is light. Retired persons ought to have gained the skills to avoid such situations. I apparently didn’t. Or I forgot.
Since I retired, I’ve been making my house more inviting – for myself mainly. I spend considerably more time here – and most of it in the daylight!
Some time ago, while living in Connecticut, I developed pneumonia and pleurisy, while at a convention – such a good time. (In those days, I was a commuter, taking the train from CT to NYC daily; that often meant leaving in the dark and coming back home in the dark.) So – once diagnosed, I was ordered to rest at home for at least ten days. I spent a good deal of that time on the couch in the living room – and in the daylight. I saw things I’d been in too much of a hurry to see before. That little rest at home resulted in a lot of painting and carpet cleaning etc.
That’s what is going on with me now. Things that seemed just fine when I wasn’t here a lot aren’t so fine anymore. I built the pool as an embrace of my new life. And it was the best thing I’ve ever done.
Recently though, I did the second best thing. My house is quite small and has no garage or attic or utility room. There is a carport, which I pretty much used for the car. No more.
Ta-da!! Instant garage, utility room, work area. It’s a whole new room. The car lives outside now, which is its problem. I’m happy as a clam. This is two sections of vinyl fence mounted onto the house. Very simple. Not expensive. And my new favorite bestest thing ever.
Like everyone, I get my share of chain emails – virus-alert! cutest-kittens-evah! you-must-watch-this-video! this-is-amazing! – you know the ones. I just delete most of them, but there are some I open (Jane! – because she doesn’t waste my time).
Today, I happened to open one from someone I’d normally delete. And found this gem:
Dear Mr. President:
There are about 40 million people over 50 in the work force. Pay them $1 million each severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:
1. They MUST retire. Forty million job openings – Unemployment fixed.
2. They MUST buy a new AMERICAN Car. Forty million cars ordered – Auto Industry fixed.
3. They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage – Housing Crisis fixed.
The novice retiree’s naiveté. Too many obligations. Not even enough time (see number 4 here) to take care of my personal business like food shopping, library stops etc.
Not so much unbloggy as unavailable. The short term committment wraps up very soon. The theatre is hosting an international festival (theatre companies coming from ALL continents except Antarctica!) and I committed myself heavily. The festival wraps up at the end of this week. Life should get back to normal then.
And between the oil spill and Gen. Stanley MacArthur, I look forward to reading and blogging a lot.
Do come back.