Living Retired — ‘Year In, Year Out’
Living Retired – ‘Year In, Year Out’
Recently, Jan described me using the expression ‘You cannot teach an old dog new tricks.’ YIKES! That scared the bejeebers out of me!
“Jan do you know what that means when you call me an old dog?” According to the American Veterinarian Association calculation I am – get this! – 369 years old in dog years!”
“Gary, I don’t know how on earth they come up with such a number but don’t worry about it – at least you aren’t lapping up the water in the toilet bowl. Although, we should send you back to obedience training to teach you to close the lid.”
This all came about when I returned from Staples with my 2022 ‘At-A-Glance DayMinder Weekly Appointment Book.’ Jan was not impressed. She figured the day has come for me to use the calendar app on my iPhone.
“Jan, that reminds me the time at work they insisted everyone had to have a Palm Pilot. I was all fingers and thumbs trying to keep track of my appointments. I used a spiral-bound calendar throughout my entire career, and I am not changing now.”
I still have my daytimers from work that list the important senior management-type things I had to do that day. Here is an example from 2009, ‘August 1st: ‘Purchase lottery tickets for department.’ December 20th: ‘At office Christmas party sit on Xerox machine and photocopy bum.’ Just kidding.
I was leafing through last years 2021 ‘At A Glance DayMinder’ and it looks like, well, I did nothing – other than have Zoom meetings that included a note to remember to ‘unmute myself.’ I realize having a calendar with no appointments or chores listed is not ideal for retirees because we are told that to lead a meaningful life, each day must have purpose. So, I have decided in 2022 I will write in my calendar something of purpose to do each day. Here are some examples last week – just a few mind you because I am retired, and I need to have time for myself.
· Monday at 9 AM: ‘Clean toaster.’ This turned out to be quite surprising! I shook the daylights out of the toaster overtop the kitchen sink. Out fell breadcrumbs, burnt raisins, and a ’63 Volkswagen Beatle. I have already made an entry for next Monday at 9 AM: ‘Clean computer keyboards.’ I’ll let you know the fall out.
· Tuesday at 3 PM: ‘Fill the gas tank on our two vehicles.’ I have done this for years, but I have a couple of questions: first, why are the lids to the gas tank on different sides of our cars? Second, who says refilling the gas is a mans job? Just saying.
· Wednesday at 11 AM: ‘Replenish Kleenex boxes in bathrooms.’ This task is bigger than a bread box because the décor of each room dictates the colour and design of the Kleenex box that sits on the vanity countertop. For instance, our 2-piece guest bathroom has a miniature oval-shape box of tissues with – and this is the important part – grey and cream-colour stylized flowers. I have been trained not to use these tissues. They are for our guests only. Meanwhile, in our master suite bathroom a larger Kleenex box sits midway between the ‘His’ and ‘Hers’ sinks. This box is off-white and has contemporary-design yellow flowers on charcoal grey stems. I am allowed to use these tissues. Just saying.
I was running out of chores to enter in my 2022 ‘At-A-Glance DayMinder Weekly Appointment Book’, so I asked Jan, “Dear, is there anything you want me to do?”
“Gary, we have been talking for years about sorting through the boxes of 35mm slides when we cleaned your parents place.”
All those carousels of slides made me shutter. (I know the word is shudder, but I could not resist).
“Jan, I don’t think I am up to looking through thousands of fuzzy photographs of my sister Dianne and I standing on orange shag carpet in front of a fake silver Christmas tree while Uncle George fussed with his Kodak camera for an hour!”
The very thought made me shutter – I love than line.