"To live in the world without becoming aware of the meaning of the world is like wandering about in a great library without touching the books.".....The Secret Teachings of All Ages

Thursday, August 18, 2011

You Don't Work, You're Retired.

Someone said that to me recently. It sounded as if I had been consigned to an old farts home...pushed out of life’s loop. That I spend my days sitting in a rocker knitting socks for charity. It implied that once you retire, you cease to work...at anything. You’re just waiting around for the “big one” to hit and take you out. The junk mail from hearing aid companies, assisted living facilities, long term health insurance, and funeral/cremation plans, doesn’t help.

Or, maybe it implies that I now spend my days either sitting in a club house after a round of golf, cruising the country in an enormous, gas-gussling motorcoach, becoming a “Snowbird” and heading to Arizona for the winter, or taking long cruises on luxury liners—okay, so I’ve done that once, because I wanted to go through the Panama Canal, which was awesome.

I don’t work? Right, I don’t work 9-5 at a desk with a little brass placard that reads, “Sharon Robb-Chism, Escrow Assistant” I had one that read just that, once. Among other titles, in other years: Office Manager, Shipping/Receiving Clerk, Sales Assistant, etc. And yeah, I don’t have to deal with insane escrow deadlines, loudmouthed construction workers, rude delivery men, and bitchy teenagers whining about how they hate the clothes being picked out for them and paid for by their mothers, for the new school term.

So, if I had a desk, what titles would that placard have on it now? Gosh, let me think.

Housekeeper (I admit, not my most dedicated work, but I don’t live in a pig pen either), cook (I am good at this), laundry lady, home accountant, yard & BIG garden maintenance lady, landscape manual laborer, home nurse—human and animal, animal feeder, spa maintenance lady, stable hand, stall mucker, horse groomer and trainer (of our own horses), jewelry designer, personal jewelry web-site updater, artist—published, writer—published, photographer—published, reenactor—pirate and medieval, equestrian gamer, costumer—for human and horse, internet forum moderator (not too arduous, this, but still), and last but most importantly, loving and supportive wife.

I don’t need a placard, I need a billboard.

Yeah, I’m retired, but not work? Get real. I work my ass off every single day at one or more of the above. Mostly more, especially during the summer. Would I give all that up for a nice 9-5 desk job? Not on your life. I’d still have to do half the stuff on that list and hold down a day job. Which is what I was doing before I retired, and had all this time to sit around in my rocker and read junk mail implying that my body already has one foot in the grave. NOT! However, I am ready for another cruise on a luxury liner. Maybe the Med this time, or Australia?