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Another From Flaherty-"Much to do about whatever"

Fri, Dec 6th, 2002
Posted in Columnists

As a general rule, a man has to have something to do; even if he doesnt get around to it. This is especially true if he is retired. He cant just sit around twiddling his thumbs, although in certain circles, this could be considered as a digital exercise. I wonder if anyone has ever considered twiddling his big toes? I should think that it would require a great deal of concentration. I might look into it, but I wonder what my wife would think if she walked into the living room and saw me twiddling my toes? I think that I will pass on that one.

If you are about to retire or have just done so, you might want to set up a daily schedule, after all, you are retired and the last thing that you want is a schedule. You could make a list of things to do for the week and then break it down to a daily basis. First make a list of things that should be done, could be done and, most importantly, things that you would like to do. It would be better for you if any list that you come up with, be a mental list. Do not commit any thing to paper! Such lists left lying about could fall into the wrong hands and lead to grief if not to disaster. Let us presume that if your wife found such a list, she might add to it or much worse, make up a list of her own for you.

When is the best time to start formulating the plan for the week? Well, why not do this on a Sunday afternoon? Things to do next week: make a weeks supply of ice cubes, straighten out your sock drawer, look for and change burnt out light bulbs, balance the checkbook, sharpen any pencils that you may have and then clean out the pencil sharpener. That be enough for the first week; you dont want to over do it.

Here is something that you must realize, if you are going to make a success of it, retirement is like any business. You can prepare yourself for it, but on the job training is the only way you can learn how to be a success at it. The best thing that you can do is to consult with a retiree and learn from him. He will show you the pitfalls and snares that await the foolhardy and the unwary. I only wish that I had had such guidance when I was first starting my retirement. Well, it is too late for me. I made my mistakes and I have to live with the results of my ignorance, but you are young and just about to start on a life of leisure and contentment.

The key word is BUSY; you must absolutely, at all times, appear to be BUSY, without actually doing anything. Bird watching; Yoga would work, if you dont mind standing on your head for an hour or two; stamp and or coin collecting. Reading could be a hazardous task because if you should overindulge, someone is going to smell a rat and find something for you to do and once that happens, there is no end to it.

All of the above can safely be done from the comfort of your home, but you might want to get out of the house and close supervision once in a while. This can best be done by VOLUNTEERISM. But you must be careful about what you are volunteering for. Church dinners are just the thing that you are looking for. Most people working at these dinners are relatively young compared to you and you wont be expected to do much of anything but to stand around greeting the diners and taking tickets and besides that, you get a free dinner.

Well, that should get you started on your way to a happy retirement. If you need any further advice, you may call me anytime during the week from nine to four forty five because at five I begin my happy hour, or two.

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