Friday, November 20, 2015

Oct. 4th to November 20th 2015

I always wondered what it would be like to be " Retired ".  I thought it might be interesting at least to me to blog about my transition from going 100 miles an hour with my hair on fire to being " Retired  ".  Retirement brings about many new firsts.  That first morning you don't have to go to work or be anywhere you don't want to be is great. Not having to be on schedule is great. Being able to come and go where and when you want is great. It feels like you are on vacation for quite a while. Then it doesn't. Things still happen that you don't plan on.  And you begin to notice some subtle changes.

Since retiring on April 1st 2015 I have been experiencing a number firsts and noticing subtle changes. The first month of retirement I landed in the emergency room. I was surprised to find I had a perforated appendix.  The surgeon didn't want to take a chance on operating and gave me heavy meds and sent me home after a few days. My follow up several weeks later with another surgeon sent me back to the hospital in late June to have the appendix out. Due to concerns with the perforation he opted for a full incision vs the scope method. I was sore and uncomfortable for a week or so. After two weeks I was back to getting in my 10,000 steps in each day. In a few more weeks I was able to enjoy boating and swimming on our boat at Smith Mountain Lake.  We enjoyed many days on the water with family and friends. We spent lots of time with our SuperWonderfulDaughter and the SuperWonderfulGrandson at the lake and in Roanoke doing fun things like walking and biking on the Greenway, visiting the Mill Mountain Zoo, the Taubman museum and enjoying lunches at many of the Downtown restaurants from our home at the W. This was the first time since I was a child that I had the Summer off! Walking to the Farmers Market to buy fresh fruits, plants, and veggies was a daily treat.  Living in Downtown Roanoke encourages you to leave the car in the garage and walk. I have found that is something I enjoy. It is fun to have a purpose for my walk other than just getting exercise. 

It is surprising how much " More " you see walking as opposed to driving or even biking.  I no longer have lots of work problems to solve. I do continue to notice things that might need fixing. I had never contacted the City maintence team before retiring.  Another first. The head of the Roanoke City maintence team may be sorry I retired. I am tactful, nice and persistent.  Suddenly I noticed there seemed to be large amounts of dog poo on the sidewalk in front of my Valley Bank on Church Avenue. It seemed to continue for more than a couple of weeks. I contacted the City and let them know of the problem. It took a week or so but it stopped. The bank staff let me know that increased patrols and conversations had fixed the problem! Next I noticed that someone had thrown broken glass everywhere and generally  made a huge mess at the Carilion Healing Park. This is the lovely small park with the swing by the river on the Greenway were we walk every morning. I contacted the City and they emailed me back to thank me for bringing it to their attention. They not only cleaned up the glass but freshened up the mulch and more importantly posted no smoking signs. The healing park had become a smoking area for the employees at Carilion and hundreds of butts were discarded all over the beautiful flower beds and mulch. It made me feel good that I had helped to get the park cleaned up. It is the little things in life that can make your day. All was well in my little downtown oyster for several weeks. Then I noticed on our early morning walks that one of the large decorative and thankfully bright street lights was out making our walk in the dim morning light dark and slightly scary when someone popped around the corner in the semi dark. The next day several more lights were out.  I contacted the City. This problem took quite a few weeks to solve. It seems that these particular lights were on privately owed buildings. I understood that would take some additional time.  After a few weeks I received an email that they were fixed. Great. Well not great. They were still not working. I mentioned what a struggle I used to have with the timers on the bank's lights. I was pleased to get another email and the timers were the problem. The lights were turning off too soon. Problem fixed. I am sure my new friend at the City was probably cheering when I left for Tybee Island for the fall.  I share this long winded account to demonstrate how I have already changed with retirement. I used to drive in and not notice when Mike spent the entire day working in the yard. Before retirement it was like I had blinders on after a too full day at work whacking at too many problems. After retirement more time to slow down and be more aware of my surroundings. Another subtle change.

Since we have owned the Cottage we could only spend short vacations of a week or two there. This Oct. we were able to go and stay until the rental season starts again on April 1st. More about our stay thus far in the next blog. 

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