I am ashamed to admit that, as a younger man with a, like, future and stuff, I may very well have laughed aloud one of the numerous times a senior citizen bemoaned how they actually found themselves more harried after retirement than before.
I, a smug fellow then but a used-up, AARP card-carrying Senior myself now, ain’t laughing anymore.
That’s silly, I thought in condescension when I heard ‘busier than ever’ claims from the Golden Agers of my youth.
I have only been officially retired since January 1 of this year and already the truth in those oldsters’ words has come into focus.
A new career at Grand Central, even if only part-time, while great for fun and engagement and exercise, nonetheless complicates what I fully expected would be a sedentary schedule in my kinda-sorta retirement.
The News-Times still solicits the occasional contribution from me also, except now I’m off the payroll; strictly a hired gun paid by the shootout.
There’s the Certified Fishing Volunteer program with Nebraska Game and Parks, but despite that I unabashedly love working with the kids and families to encourage outdoor activity, I have been more of a no-show than a participant since early summer. Just can’t seem to get there no matter where and when those wonderful and warming events take place.
I am also a Chamber Ambassador Red Coat, at least officially, but again I’m embarrassed by poor performance.
Grandkid stuff, family reunion stuff, two visits to Branson in and one more to come yet this year, a round trip run to Guthrie, Okla., next month to deliver my mom halfway to Brother Brad’s home in Killeen, Texas, then back to Guthrie to fetch her home again two weeks later, an 80th birthday celebration, Thanksgiving and on and on ad nauseam.
And we haven’t even brought up fishing with son Aaron, brother and sister-in-law Jim and Mary, brother-in-law Jim, grandkids Dominic, Taya and Buddy Boy, not to mention a fishing co-conspirator or two.
My gasoline bill, like the bizarre and unsettling rains and flooding, hit record highs this season. This extra fuel consumption is in large part, but not entirely attributable, to repeatedly dragging the boat to Harlan County, Yankee Hill, Pawnee and three or four puddles of lesser note.
All that despite an almost throw-away fishing year done in by Global Warming weather, murky lakes, mucky access roads and ramp approaches and at least one disastrous and heart-wrenching flooded out, murky lake-caused fish kill. Last but not least in my whining list of hindrances is a string of frustrating (and not inexpensive) mechanical issues that were the result of getting a different and unfamiliar boat de-bugged and running reliably.
And so the garage doesn’t get cleaned any more often than before retirement; likewise for washing and waxing the three vehicles and a host of other mundane (read: mind-numbing) chores.
Mowing, too, is every bit as neglected as during my so-called working days. More so if that’s even possible.
In the spirit of full disclosure, however, I am compelled to admit none of that stuff would be getting done one iota better or sooner than if the aforementioned distractions didn’t exist at all.
The benefit they do provide, though, is a raft of whole new excuses with which to explain away the systemic sloth that has forever lived within these bones.
So I have that going for me, which is nice.